The Making of The Beautiful

The Triumphant Story of Annie Johnson Flint This book is a treasure of some poetry by Annie Johnson Flint, with biographical additions by Roland Bingham. The poetry is exquisite and is written by a lady who was an invalid for most of her life. She saw beauty and God in many ways and in many places.

The Triumphant Story of Annie Johnson Flint
This book is a treasure of some poetry by Annie Johnson Flint, with biographical additions by Roland Bingham. The poetry is exquisite and is written by a lady who was an invalid for most of her life. She saw beauty and God in many ways and in many places.


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<strong>of</strong> the<br />


<strong>The</strong> Life Story <strong>of</strong><br />


By Rowland V. Bingham, D.D.<br />

Editor <strong>The</strong> Evangelical Christian<br />

This Literature Provided by:<br />


Christian Classic Resources<br />

www.Carry<strong>The</strong>Light.io<br />

WaterBooks<br />

This publication is <strong>of</strong>fered for educational purposes only. Some Images are protected by<br />

copyright. Distribution may be made without any purpose <strong>of</strong> commercial advantage.<br />

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A Foreword 5<br />

<strong>The</strong> Foregleam… 7<br />

"<strong>The</strong> <strong>Making</strong> <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Beautiful</strong>” 8<br />

A Prose Picture <strong>of</strong> a Poet 11<br />

<strong>The</strong> Life in Allegory 12<br />

A Christmas Eve Baby 19<br />

School Days 22<br />

Characteristics 30<br />

Mixing the Bitter and Sweet 32<br />

Pressed Into Poetry and Print 35<br />

<strong>The</strong> Poetical <strong>The</strong>ologian 43<br />

Songs <strong>of</strong> Comfort 53<br />

Sunset and Eventide 61<br />

Poems by Annie Johnson Flint 68<br />

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A Foreword<br />

If you ever had the privilege <strong>of</strong> calling upon Annie Johnson Flint, you<br />

have not forgotten her hands. Anyone who ever saw them, and who had<br />

read any <strong>of</strong> her poems in manuscript, must have marveled at the clear<br />

and beautiful writing which her painfully distorted hands were able to<br />

produce.<br />

Those instruments <strong>of</strong> expression which most <strong>of</strong> us can use so freely,<br />

were carefully trained to do their manual work with fine restraint and<br />

regularity, and perfect legibility.<br />

But this ability to use her physical disabilities far more blessedly than<br />

so many <strong>of</strong> us use our abilities, was seen typically. but not chiefly in<br />

such control. It was revealed far more deeply than that in the<br />

outpouring <strong>of</strong> a courageous, chastened, and God-given spirit <strong>of</strong> gladhearted<br />

service in the name <strong>of</strong> the Lord whom she loved, and by whose<br />

grace her gifts were brought to such abundant fruition.<br />

Annie Johnson Flint's poems were not simply the unskilled utterances<br />

<strong>of</strong> a devout spirit. <strong>The</strong>y disclose by their gracious art, the hand <strong>of</strong> the<br />

true poet who knows that religious verse-writing at its best requires not<br />

only a consecrated insight, but lest the message be halted and perhaps<br />

lost, a due regard for the most exacting canons in the use <strong>of</strong> rich and<br />

fitting words, musical rhythm, and correct verse forms. Hard work very<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten lies back <strong>of</strong> seemingly spontaneous utterances in which these<br />

principles <strong>of</strong> verse writing are followed.<br />

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Miss Flint was one <strong>of</strong> the few writers <strong>of</strong> religious poems in whose work<br />

one recognizes in the very ease <strong>of</strong> it, the hand <strong>of</strong> the careful artist.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was no distortion in that inward instrument <strong>of</strong> consecrated<br />

expression.<br />

One day a visitor stepped from Miss Flint's sitting room· into the<br />

sleeping room to secure a certain reprint <strong>of</strong> a poem for Miss Flint, who<br />

was seated in her wheeled chair. A glance at the bed in that room was<br />

revealing. Nine s<strong>of</strong>t pillows were carefully arranged on the bed for use<br />

in protecting the exquisitely sensitive, pain-smitten body from the<br />

normal contact <strong>of</strong> the bed-clothing, so distressing it was for her to<br />

recline in the hope <strong>of</strong> rest at night.<br />

And it was this most sensitive sufferer who, out <strong>of</strong> her keen experiences<br />

<strong>of</strong> pain, prepared so many poem pillows for the weary, the suffering,<br />

the discouraged in body, mind and spirit. <strong>The</strong> message <strong>of</strong> her life is<br />

found in just such episodes, and just such lovely, heartening, deeply<br />

spiritual poems as are included in this booklet. Here is an exhibit <strong>of</strong><br />

what God can do with a life so bound and yet so gloriously free, in a<br />

ministry rarely granted to any dweller in our needy world.<br />


President <strong>of</strong> '<strong>The</strong> Sunday School 'Times Company,<br />

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Foregleam…<br />

This life at best would have been garbed in drab or grey but for the<br />

touch <strong>of</strong> God. Its well-nigh forty years spent as a "shut-in" within the<br />

compass <strong>of</strong> four walls, with the occasional break <strong>of</strong> an excursion in<br />

an invalid chair, would only have attained to one color. And<br />

any expression <strong>of</strong> sound would have been in monotone. In one <strong>of</strong> her<br />

poems she did liken herself to the fern in the flower kingdom,<br />

intended with its living green to brighten the shade <strong>of</strong> the forest. But<br />

the highest point her poetic genius could have reached in this realm,<br />

would have bestowed on her only a crown <strong>of</strong> “maidenhair."<br />

But the touch <strong>of</strong> the Almighty did something more than that for this<br />

one : even more than realize the goal <strong>of</strong> her water-lily song<br />

which pictures "<strong>The</strong> Soul" as climbing from the mud and ooze <strong>of</strong> the<br />

underworld until its white and yellow burst into bloom on the<br />

water's brim.<br />

We think her life-story is best introduced, as it was surely<br />

characterized, by her lovely poem, "<strong>The</strong> <strong>Making</strong> <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Beautiful</strong>", for<br />

God took this life in its colorless shade and sorrow, and touched it<br />

with all the hues <strong>of</strong> the rainbow. And then He made its monotony<br />

burst into tones whose harmonies have blessed the world in their<br />

blending <strong>of</strong> the highest and deepest notes <strong>of</strong> human experience;<br />

"<strong>The</strong> <strong>Making</strong> <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Beautiful</strong>" gives her early impressions and<br />

response to the touch <strong>of</strong> the Master Hand.<br />

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"<strong>The</strong> <strong>Making</strong> <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Beautiful</strong>”<br />

Meadow and vale and mountain,<br />

Ocean and lake and wood,-<br />

God looked on the fruit <strong>of</strong> His labor<br />

And saw that His work was good;<br />

And yet was there something lacking<br />

In the world that He had made,<br />

Something to brighten the greenness,<br />

Something to lighten the shade.·<br />

He took a shred <strong>of</strong> the rainbow,<br />

A bit <strong>of</strong> the sunshine's gold,<br />

<strong>The</strong> colors <strong>of</strong> all the jewels<br />

<strong>The</strong> mines <strong>of</strong> earth enfold,<br />

A piece <strong>of</strong> the mist <strong>of</strong> evening<br />

With the sunset woven through,<br />

A scrap <strong>of</strong> the sky at noonday,<br />

A clear, unclouded blue;<br />

Of these He fashioned the flowers,<br />

And some were red, like the rose,<br />

And some were a lovely azure,<br />

And some were pale as the snows;<br />

Some, shaped like a fairy chalice<br />

<strong>The</strong> perfumed honey to hold,<br />

And some were stars <strong>of</strong> silver,<br />

And some were flakes <strong>of</strong> gold.<br />

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<strong>The</strong>y flashed in the gloom' <strong>of</strong> the forests,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y clung to the boughs <strong>of</strong> the trees,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y hid in the grass <strong>of</strong> the meadows,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y drifted away on the breeze,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y fell in the clefts <strong>of</strong> the canyons<br />

And high on the mountains bare,<br />

Where never an eye should see them<br />

Save His Who had made them fair.<br />

But still there was something wanting,<br />

His labor was not yet done;<br />

lie gathered more <strong>of</strong> the colors<br />

Of rainbow and sky and sun,<br />

And now unto these He added<br />

<strong>The</strong> music <strong>of</strong> sea and land,<br />

<strong>The</strong> tune <strong>of</strong> the rippling river,<br />

<strong>The</strong> splash <strong>of</strong> the waves on the sand,<br />

<strong>The</strong> raindrops' lilting measure,<br />

<strong>The</strong> pine tree's crooning sigh,<br />

<strong>The</strong> aspen's lisping murmur,<br />

<strong>The</strong> wind's low lullaby,<br />

Faint fluting <strong>of</strong> angel voices<br />

From heavenly courts afar,<br />

And the s<strong>of</strong>test, dreamiest echoes<br />

Of the song <strong>of</strong> the morning star.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n deftly His fingers molded<br />

<strong>The</strong> strong and the delicate things<br />

Instinct with the joy and the beauty<br />

Of song and <strong>of</strong> soaring wings;<br />

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Nightingale, heron and seagull,<br />

Bobolink, lark-and then, ·<br />

I think that He smiled a little<br />

As He tilted the tail <strong>of</strong> the wren,<br />

As He made the owl's face solemn<br />

And twisted the blue jay's crest,<br />

As He bent the beak <strong>of</strong> the parrot<br />

And smoothed the oriole's vest,<br />

As He burnished the crow's jet plumage<br />

And the robin's breast <strong>of</strong> red;<br />

"In the cold <strong>of</strong> the northern springtime<br />

<strong>The</strong> children will love it," He said.<br />

So some were quaint and cunning,<br />

And some were only fail-,<br />

And some He gave a song to,<br />

And lo, the birds <strong>of</strong> the air.<br />

And the snippets <strong>of</strong> things left over,<br />

He tossed out under the skies,<br />

Where, falling, fluttering, flying,<br />

Behold, they were butterflies!<br />

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A Prose Picture <strong>of</strong> a Poet<br />


Only one prose production <strong>of</strong> Annie Johnson Flint is extant. Just<br />

once she turned from the poet's muse, and it is not strange that even<br />

then instead <strong>of</strong> writing common prose her pen ran from poetry to<br />

allegory.<br />

Outside <strong>of</strong> Bunyan's immortal work, we wonder whether a sweeter<br />

picture in allegorical form has ever been drawn. It presents in a<br />

fascinating manner<br />

a spiritual interpretation <strong>of</strong><br />

her own life, and breathes<br />

the same air <strong>of</strong> faith and love,<br />

and confidence in the<br />

guidance and goodness <strong>of</strong><br />

God that marked all<br />

she wrote.<br />

It was found among her<br />

papers in her own<br />

handwriting, with<br />

corrections as she had made<br />

them, ere laying down her<br />

pen. Before presenting her<br />

life story it makes a fitting<br />

autobiography in allegory<br />

<strong>of</strong> Annie Johnson Flint.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Life in Allegory<br />


And it came to pass, as I travelled along the Highway <strong>of</strong> Life, that I saw<br />

in the distance, far ahead, a mountain, and on it One standing, upon<br />

whose face rested a divine compassion for the grief <strong>of</strong> the world.<br />

His raiment was white and glittering, and in His hand was a cross. And<br />

He called unto the sons <strong>of</strong> men, saying "Come! Come! Who will take up<br />

his cross and follow me, that he may be like unto me, and that I may seat<br />

him at my right hand and share with him things glorious and beautiful<br />

beyond the dreams <strong>of</strong> earth and the imaginings <strong>of</strong> men?”<br />

And I said. "What is my cross, that I may take it up?”<br />

And a Voice answered, "<strong>The</strong>re are many crosses, and thine shall be<br />

given thee in good time.”<br />

And I said, "What will bring me near to <strong>The</strong>e and make me most like<br />

<strong>The</strong>e?”<br />

And the Voice replied, "<strong>The</strong>re are many angels with whom thou canst<br />

walk; but see that they lead thee only toward me, and never away from<br />

me, for some there be that will cause thee to forget me.”<br />

And I said, "What angel shall be given me?”And I felt a hand laid upon<br />

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mine, and saw beside me one with a smiling face, who said, "Walk with<br />

me: I am the Angel <strong>of</strong> Joy,”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n all my life grew bright. and wealth was mine, and many pleasures,<br />

and friends crowded around me, and Love crowned me, and I knew no<br />

care.<br />

But suddenly I heard the Voice, and it sounded faint and far, <strong>of</strong>f, and it<br />

said, "Alas! Thou art not coming toward me." And I fell upon my knees,<br />

crying, " Oh, forgive me that I could forget <strong>The</strong>e. Take away the angel,<br />

since he leads me not unto <strong>The</strong>e.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the world grew dark and I heard a low voice beside me saying,<br />

"Come with me: I am the Angel <strong>of</strong> Sorrow.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n he took my hand in his, and I went with him, weeping. But now<br />

there were no friends around me, and pleasure palled upon me, and my<br />

heart was very sad. And as I went I saw that the Vision grew brighter,<br />

and I perceived that I was no longer walking away from it.<br />

But my soul was exceeding sorrowful. and I looked back <strong>of</strong>ten, and saw<br />

in memory the joys I had once known, until the tears blinded me, and I<br />

stumbled continually, for the path was rough, and it had begun to lead<br />

upward.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n I heard the Voice again, and it said, "Look not back; regret not the<br />

past; I will send thee another angel who will help thee to forget the<br />

things that are behind."<br />

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<strong>The</strong>n the Sorrowful Angel vanished, and in his place stood one whose<br />

face was cheerful. and he said, "Come! let us be up and doing; I am the<br />

Angel <strong>of</strong> Work.”<br />

And I went with him-at first with lagging steps and a sore heart: but as<br />

my sight became clearer, I beheld many sick and discouraged, many<br />

who had fallen by the way. <strong>The</strong>n I heard the Voice again saying. "<strong>The</strong><br />

laborers are few. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least <strong>of</strong> these, ye<br />

have done it unto me.”<br />

So I began to help those around me, and as my hands grew busy, my<br />

heart lightened, and I forgot to look behind me and mourn for the lost<br />

joys <strong>of</strong> the past, and at times there was even a song upon my lips. But<br />

the road was rough and <strong>of</strong>ten dark, and whiles my courage failed me<br />

and my soul was disquieted within me. For there were sorrows I could<br />

not comfort, and hunger I could not satisfy, and· burdens I could not<br />

help to lift: and I could only stretch out my hands, and cry, "Oh, Thou<br />

who hast helped me, help these, for I cannot.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the Voice said, "Be not weary in well-doing. Thou art coming<br />

toward me. I will send one who will bring thee still nearer.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n I saw beside me an angel with a veil before his face, who said in a<br />

grave voice, "Canst thou walk with me. I am the Angel <strong>of</strong> Sacrifice."<br />

But I shrank back, murmuring, "What wilt thou take from me?" And he<br />

answered, "I will take nothing. Thou must thyself give it <strong>of</strong> thine own<br />

free will. It is thy Dearest Wish.”<br />

"<strong>The</strong>n I hid my face in my hands, and cried, "I cannot. I cannot. Ask me<br />

something else! Give me some task to do! Have I not labored faithfully<br />

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these many days? Did I not myself resign the joys that were once so<br />

precious to me, and turn away from them to follow <strong>The</strong>e? And I will<br />

still follow <strong>The</strong>e-still work for <strong>The</strong>e, only leave me this one thing. It is<br />

so dear to me-it is my light in darkness-my food in hunger-my rest in<br />

weariness-my comfort always. And yet I have not loved it better than<br />

<strong>The</strong>e: it has not led me away from <strong>The</strong>e, nor hidden from me the<br />

Heavenly Vision.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the Voice said, "Thou canst do without all these things-light and<br />

food, rest and comfort, but canst thou do without me? And thou must<br />

choose between us. Is it too hard for thee? And yet thou saidst thou<br />

wouldst be nearer me.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n I cried in answer, "Yes, yes, I would; but oh is there not another<br />

way? Take all else, and leave me only this." But the Voice spoke no more.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n I struggled until the sweat broke out upon my brow in drops <strong>of</strong><br />

agony, and my nights were sleepless, and my days troubled, and the<br />

Vision grew dim, and I saw no light.<br />

But then came a day when the Higher triumphed, and with broken voice<br />

and streaming eyes, I held out my Dearest Wish, crying, "Take it, take it.<br />

Thy will be done.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the Vision broke in splendor, and I heard the Voice saying, "Thou<br />

hast fought a good fight. Now thou art indeed mine: and behold thy<br />

reward is even now beside thee.”<br />

So I looked, and the angel had lifted his veil and was smiling, and lo, it<br />

was the Wish I had given up, but changed-beautified and glorified, a<br />

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heavenly blessing in the place <strong>of</strong> an earthly.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n it vanished from my sight, and the Voice spoke again : "Thy<br />

sacrifice is accepted. Thou shalt see it no more on Earth; but through all<br />

the days <strong>of</strong> thy mortal pilgrimage it shall be to thee a blessed hope,<br />

and it shall meet thee at the gate <strong>of</strong> Heaven, to be thine through all<br />

eternity. And thou hast come much nearer unto me, and art more like<br />

me. Dost thou desire to draw still nearer to me?” And I cried, "Yes, yes,<br />

still nearer!" And the Voice replied, "<strong>The</strong>re is but one angel more for<br />

thee to walk with. It is the Angel <strong>of</strong> Suffering.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n a great trembling seized me and I said, "<strong>The</strong> spirit is willing, but<br />

the flesh is weak. I know not if I can endure. Yet do with me as Thou<br />

wilt, for I am Thine.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n suddenly there appeared before me an angel whose face was lined<br />

and furrowed, as with the deep strokes <strong>of</strong> a chisel, yet over all there was<br />

the beauty <strong>of</strong> a conquered peace-a peace wrested from great tribulation,<br />

the look <strong>of</strong> one who had forgotten how to weep.<br />

And one hand he held out to me, and with the other he pointed to the<br />

ground. And I looked and saw before me the cross which I had last seen<br />

in the hand <strong>of</strong> Him upon the Mount.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the Voice said, "This only is the way by which thou canst approach<br />

nearest unto me and be most like me. This is thy cross. Lie down upon it<br />

without shrinking and without fear. Thou shalt not be alone: I too have<br />

been there. I sounded all the depths <strong>of</strong> pain, and at the last I was<br />

forsaken by the Father; but that last, worst suffering thou shalt not<br />

know, for I will never leave thee nor forsake thee;"<br />

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So I lay down upon the cross, and I rest upon it even unto this day. And<br />

the Angel <strong>of</strong> Suffering watches upon my left hand, and upon my right is<br />

one who comes always with him~the Angel <strong>of</strong> His Presence. And <strong>of</strong> late<br />

there has been another, the Angel <strong>of</strong> Peace. And the three abide always<br />

with me.<br />

And the Vision is a Vision no longer, but a Reality. And it is not a stern<br />

Judge, nor a merciful God, but a loving Father, who bends over me. <strong>The</strong><br />

way has brought me almost to His feet. <strong>The</strong>re is but a narrow valley that<br />

divides us, the Valley <strong>of</strong> the Shadow, and the angel who shall lead me<br />

through it is the Angel <strong>of</strong> Death.<br />

I wait his coming with a tranquil heart, for beneath the mask that<br />

frights the timid human hearts which dread his summons I shall see a<br />

face I know-the face <strong>of</strong> the Son <strong>of</strong> God, who has walked beside me in<br />

the furnace <strong>of</strong> affliction, so that I passed through without even the<br />

smell <strong>of</strong> fire on my garments.<br />

And when I go down into the deep waters, it is His arm I shall lean<br />

upon, and the voice that welcomes me upon the other side will be His.<br />

And from the bank <strong>of</strong> the river the path leads upward to the City, which<br />

hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they that enter<br />

in shall go no more out forever.<br />

And at the gate my Guide shall leave me, and I shall see Him no more<br />

until I behold Him at the right hand <strong>of</strong> God, having upon His head<br />

many crowns, and on His vesture a name written, "King <strong>of</strong> Kings,<br />

and Lord <strong>of</strong> Lords", before whose face heaven and earth shall flee away.<br />

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And the nations <strong>of</strong> them that are saved shall stand before Him, and<br />

they that come up out <strong>of</strong> great tribulation, who endure unto the end,<br />

and inherit all things, and they shall cry with a loud voice saying,<br />

“Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon<br />

the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”<br />

And in Him who sitteth upon the throne I shall know the Man <strong>of</strong><br />

Sorrows, Whom I saw upon the Mount <strong>of</strong> the Vision, holding in His<br />

hand a cross and calling unto the sons <strong>of</strong> men, "Come! Come! Who will<br />

take up his cross and follow me, that he may be like unto me, and that I<br />

may seat him upon my right hand, and share with him things glorious<br />

and beautiful beyond the dreams <strong>of</strong> earth and the imaginings <strong>of</strong> men?”<br />

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A Christmas Eve Baby<br />

In spite <strong>of</strong> the adage that poets are born and not made, we do not fancy<br />

there was anything more rhythmic in the cry that ushered Annie<br />

Johnson Flint into this world, than that which marked the advent <strong>of</strong> any<br />

other child: and yet it does seem strange that this one who was to<br />

become one <strong>of</strong> America's great poets should have been born on the eve<br />

when, long centuries before, the angels had first heralded their song <strong>of</strong><br />

joy concerning the coming Savior. Annie was born on Christmas Eve, in<br />

the year 1866, in the little town <strong>of</strong> Vineland, New Jersey. Was it this that<br />

made her pen long years after run so sweetly in her Christmas verses?<br />

Did the baby catch the angel carols that night? Eldon and Jean Johnson,<br />

the father and mother, welcomed that Christmas present as the greatest<br />

earthly gift. <strong>The</strong> father was <strong>of</strong> English descent, while the mother<br />

claimed that she was Scotch. (A funny thing happened a few months<br />

before Miss Flint's death.' A Spiritualist wrote that he had had an<br />

interview with this mother in the spirit world, and proceeded to give a<br />

description that had not an atom <strong>of</strong> truth in it-but the "spirit" made a<br />

last guess in saying she was “Scotch".) But the only remembrance <strong>of</strong> that<br />

mother dates back to the time just before the tragedy which was to rob<br />

her forever <strong>of</strong> that mother's care. She was ushered in, a little three-year<br />

old tot, to the room where her mother was lying, and introduced to a<br />

newly arrived baby sister. She must have looked with wonder from that<br />

baby face into the mother's face that day, for it is the one and only<br />

imprint <strong>of</strong> that mother's likeness that lives in memory. It was indelible.<br />

<strong>The</strong> baby was left for life-long companionship, and still remains, but<br />

the mother shortly after this episode was taken from her forever.<br />

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When, at the early age <strong>of</strong> twenty-three, that mother passed away, the<br />

father took the children to board with the widow <strong>of</strong> an old army<br />

comrade who had been killed in the Civil War. It was not a happy<br />

arrangement. <strong>The</strong> woman had two children <strong>of</strong> her own and her means<br />

were very limited.. During the two years the Johnson girls added to the<br />

cares <strong>of</strong> that family, they were most evidently unwelcome and<br />

unwanted.<br />

But it was at this time, when the outlook seemed so dark for their young<br />

lives, that a neighbor; interposed in a kindly way. She looms in Miss<br />

Flint's memory as Aunt Susie, although she could claim no blood<br />

relationship to this friend. Aunt Susie was a school teacher, and<br />

boarded near the school in the home <strong>of</strong> Mr. and Mrs. Flint. She became<br />

so strongly attached to the Johnson girls that she was continually<br />

speaking <strong>of</strong> them to the Flints, and at last so aroused their sympathy on<br />

behalf <strong>of</strong> the motherless children, that a little over two years after their<br />

mother's death they were adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Flint, whose name<br />

from henceforth they bore. While their name might sound hard and<br />

stony, their hearts were very tender. Two things made Mr. Johnson<br />

willing to part with the children: first, he was suffering at the time with<br />

an incurable disease from which he shortly afterwards died; then, the<br />

Flints <strong>of</strong>fered a home after his own desire and thought for the children,<br />

as they were Baptists, and Mr. Johnson was very anxious that the<br />

children should be brought up in the Baptist faith, as he was a strong<br />

believer himself in their position. But God had higher thoughts than<br />

that this one should be simply pressed into the Baptist mold. It was in<br />

His plan that, like John Bunyan, her pen should bless the whole<br />

household <strong>of</strong> faith. Later she was converted in a Methodist revival<br />

meeting, and many <strong>of</strong> her most intimate friends were connected with<br />

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that church. <strong>The</strong>n as the years rolled by she was helped by men and<br />

women in all branches <strong>of</strong> the evangelical church, and in return she<br />

herself became God's channel <strong>of</strong> blessing to that wider fellowship. She<br />

looked upon that "household <strong>of</strong> faith" as really one great family, with<br />

one faith, one Lord, one baptism, working under one Divine Spirit,<br />

having one Master over all.<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Flint were true Christians, and love reigned in their home.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two girls were taken right to their hearts, and loved as though they<br />

were their own flesh arid blood. <strong>The</strong> daily training was thorough, both<br />

in the Christian and the domestic sphere. When Annie was eight years<br />

old the family left the farm and moved into Vineland, New Jersey, but<br />

the touch <strong>of</strong> that country life never left her in all the after years.<br />

When they reached their new home in town, revival meetings were in<br />

progress, and she attended. It was during one <strong>of</strong> these meetings that the<br />

Spirit <strong>of</strong> God operated upon that young heart and brought her to saving<br />

faith in Christ. She always believed that at that time she was truly<br />

converted, and while she did not join the church until ten years later,<br />

she never doubted that the eternal work was then wrought.<br />

She strongly deprecated the idea that young children cannot apprehend<br />

spiritual truths. She felt that the divine mysteries were <strong>of</strong>ten plainer to<br />

the simple faith <strong>of</strong> a child than to many adults, blinded by their own<br />

prejudices and intellectual doubts. It was not difficult for her to endorse<br />

the words <strong>of</strong> the Master, "Thou hast hidden these things from the wise<br />

and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”<br />

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School Days<br />

It was about the time that she passed through this spiritual experience<br />

that the poetic muse began to awaken within her. She tells <strong>of</strong> the thrill<br />

<strong>of</strong> her life when she realized that she could express herself in<br />

verse. <strong>The</strong>n came another move. When she was fourteen the family<br />

went to Camden, New Jersey, and there the two girls continued their<br />

schooling. <strong>The</strong>re was nothing special to mark the years that flew by in<br />

that time. She was very fond <strong>of</strong> reading, and made good use <strong>of</strong> her<br />

adopted father's library, which contained a goodly number <strong>of</strong> the works<br />

<strong>of</strong> standard authors, such as Scott, Dickens, Kingsley, and Bulwer-<br />

Lytton, in addition to the majority <strong>of</strong> the poets.<br />

It was at this period that she formed one friendship that continued<br />

through the years. This girl friend tells <strong>of</strong> her early recollections <strong>of</strong><br />

Annie as she then appeared, "a pretty, dark-eyed girl, with a clear olive<br />

complexion, and long black curls. She was kind-hearted, merry and<br />

vivacious-a general favorite with the boys and girls at school." This<br />

friend writes, "We sat together at school, whenever the teacher<br />

permitted it. We were both very fond <strong>of</strong> reading. Well do I remember<br />

the day when we read 'Madcap Violet' in school. We kept up the<br />

absorbed, studious look for the occasion, while that delightful novel<br />

was safely hidden behind the friendly covers <strong>of</strong> Swinton's Geography.<br />

We had much in common," says this girl friend. "Every Saturday<br />

afternoon we met, a select literary society <strong>of</strong> two, to read our favorite<br />

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poets, and then we attempted verse ourselves. Annie wrote one poem<br />

which I greatly admired. It began something like this,<br />

"A white-robed star was dressed for the stage<br />

But still she glanced at the printed page.<br />

Mother! It was years since she had seen her, face,<br />

And now she was dead, and the dear old place<br />

Was in strange hands."<br />

<strong>The</strong> ending was tragic-amusingly so, as one sees it today. It continued,<br />

"And there in the solemn twilight,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re in the silvery moonlight,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re with outstretched arms she lay, ·<br />

Waiting for the break <strong>of</strong> day.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re in the morning they found her,<br />

With white robes glimmering round her,<br />

With arms stretched wildly above her head.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re on the eve <strong>of</strong> her triumph—dead."<br />

Not to be outdone in this, this friend wrote several pathetic stanzas<br />

describing a gallant ship which finally plunged beneath the waves with<br />

all on board.<br />

But we are quite sure that Annie's poems were not all tragedy. <strong>The</strong>re was<br />

too deep a streak <strong>of</strong> natural humor with her to exclude the comedy. We<br />

almost think that it was a reversion to these girlhood school days that<br />

drew from her in later years one <strong>of</strong> her nature songs. She entitled it,<br />

"How to Tell a Comet". You might almost think that she was sitting in the<br />

old school when she penned the lines, with the subtitle, "Astronomy<br />

Made Easy". It went as follows:"Though you may not know a planet<br />

From a bird that's called a gannet,<br />

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Nor distinguish Sagittarius from Mars;<br />

Though the beasts in that strange zoo<br />

May all look alike to you,<br />

And you lump the whole caboodle just as 'stars';<br />

Though you cannot place the Lion,<br />

Nor correctly trace Orion,<br />

Nor discern the jeweled belt he proudly wears,<br />

Nor the Big and Little Hounds,<br />

Through those happy hunting grounds,<br />

Nightly chasing up the Big and Little Bears;<br />

Though you cannot tell the Dipper<br />

From your grandpa's old felt slipper,<br />

And to name the constellations you would fail,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re's one thing that you may know<br />

And be very sure it's so,-<br />

You can. always tell a comet by its tail.<br />

Its airy, hairy, winking, blinking, flowing, glowing tail;<br />

Its fiery, wiry, gleaming, streaming, flaring, glaring tail.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n this girlhood friend says, "<strong>The</strong>re came a time <strong>of</strong> the usual writing<br />

<strong>of</strong> love stories. For one <strong>of</strong> these the teacher who discovered it called the<br />

unfortunate author to stay after school. She confiscated Annie's most<br />

brilliant attempt. and gave her a severe lecture. 'I didn't suppose any one<br />

<strong>of</strong> my pupils knew enough about love to write a grown-up, sensational<br />

love story', she said in a shocked voice.”<br />

When this friend moved from Annie's home to another town, we know<br />

little <strong>of</strong> her later companionships. <strong>The</strong>se two kept in touch to the close<br />

<strong>of</strong> life. <strong>The</strong>se years were the formative years. It was then she became<br />

more conscious <strong>of</strong> herself as an individual and <strong>of</strong> her surroundings.<br />

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She realized, 'too, her good fortune in having such a home and such<br />

foster parents. <strong>The</strong> Flints were people <strong>of</strong> high principle. <strong>The</strong>y taught the<br />

girl to be self-reliant, independent and economical. <strong>The</strong>y gave her a<br />

healthy horror <strong>of</strong> debt. "Owe no man anything", was a command tacitly<br />

obeyed. In those days there was no buying on the installment plan. If<br />

one had the money to purchase, then the article wanted was secured,<br />

otherwise one went without.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n, she acquired a very hearty contempt for what she called the<br />

"Leaners in life.'' the shiftless mortals who allow others to bear their<br />

burdens and pay their way, and make no effort themselves to better<br />

their condition. She had no use for those who spent their time in<br />

pitying themselves.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir parents provided a good home with plenty to eat and enough to<br />

wear, but there was no waste. "Gather up the fragments that nothing be<br />

lost" was a rule strictly observed. By this time she made all her own<br />

clothes as well as her mother's, except their best dresses, for which a<br />

dressmaker came into the house twice a year. She was also capable <strong>of</strong><br />

taking charge <strong>of</strong> the house- keeping if necessary.<br />

One thing that is apparent from these earliest years is that she was a<br />

keen observer whether she was in the country or in the city. It was these<br />

early. observations on the Jersey Coast that in later years she turned so<br />

beautifully and helpfully into poetic language under the title, "<strong>The</strong> Set<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Sail”.<br />

"I stood on the shore beside the sea;<br />

<strong>The</strong> wind from the West blew fresh and free,<br />

While past the rocks at the harbor's mouth<br />

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<strong>The</strong> ships went North and the ships went South,<br />

And some sailed out on an unknown quest,<br />

And some sailed in to the harbor's rest;<br />

Yet ever the wind blew out <strong>of</strong> the West.<br />

I said to one who had sailed the sea<br />

That this was a marvel unto me;<br />

For how can the ships go safely forth,<br />

Some to the South and some to the North,<br />

Far out to sea on their golden quest,<br />

Or in to the harbor's calm and rest,<br />

And ever the wind blow out <strong>of</strong> the West?<br />

<strong>The</strong> sailor smiled as he answered me,<br />

'Go where you will when you're on the sea,<br />

Though head winds baffle and flaws delay,<br />

You can keep the course by night and day,<br />

Drive with the breeze or against the gale;<br />

It will not matter what winds prevail,<br />

For all depends on the set <strong>of</strong> the sail.' “<br />

<strong>The</strong>n in the other verses <strong>of</strong> this poem she makes the application. Of<br />

course the moralizing came in the later years. This keen observation <strong>of</strong><br />

everything in nature comes out in one <strong>of</strong> the earlier booklets published,<br />

entitled, "Out <strong>of</strong> Doors". We think it is Nature's poetic classic. Take a<br />

verse out <strong>of</strong> her: poem entitled "<strong>The</strong> Creator'.<br />

"He takes the scent <strong>of</strong> the s<strong>of</strong>tening ground<br />

Where the first green blade pricks through,<br />

He takes the reddening maple bough<br />

A-slant against the blue,<br />

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Follow on with the next verse,<br />

He takes the cheer in the robin's song<br />

And the flash <strong>of</strong> the blue-bird's wing,<br />

<strong>The</strong> joy <strong>of</strong> prisoned things set free, And<br />

<strong>of</strong> these He makes the Spring."<br />

"He takes the sheen <strong>of</strong> the waving wheat<br />

Where the slow cloud-shadows pass,<br />

He takes the brook's s<strong>of</strong>t rippling tune<br />

And the daisied meadow grass,<br />

He takes the swish <strong>of</strong> the mower's scythe<br />

In the noontide's hot, white glare,<br />

<strong>The</strong> joy <strong>of</strong> labor and growing things,-<br />

And makes the Summer fair.”<br />

That poem will remain a masterpiece.<br />

It was in the girlhood years that there was stored up in the child mind<br />

the wealth <strong>of</strong> these things that burst forth in the later years. In those<br />

long, long years in which she was "shut in" those nature psalms would<br />

never have had the touch that was given to them but for the memories<br />

<strong>of</strong> girlhood when she ran untrammeled under Heaven's canopy and out<br />

into the open fields and woods. Not that she lost her observation <strong>of</strong><br />

nature. I remember standing beside her sick-couch one day when she<br />

suddenly observed, "We are going to have rain today. My robin has just<br />

changed his note. He never sings in that tone unless the rain is coming."<br />

Sure enough, the rain came. When she wrote that sweet song. "<strong>The</strong><br />

Lullaby <strong>of</strong> Rain", one finds there the blending <strong>of</strong> girlhood impressions<br />

gleaned in city and country. Intermingled also is seen the struggle with<br />

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life's difficulties that marked her later days. And yet it too is a classic. It<br />

commences with the words,<br />

"Through the sultry city daylight I had toiled with throbbing head,<br />

But at night, though spent and weary, slumber from my wooing fled;<br />

Still before my aching vision lines <strong>of</strong> figures came and went,<br />

Ghosts <strong>of</strong> those long hours <strong>of</strong> labor and the day's imprisonment.<br />

Only glare and tumult entered through the window opened wide,<br />

Naught <strong>of</strong> freshness e'er could reach me from the surging human tide;<br />

<strong>The</strong>n, a muttered growl <strong>of</strong> thunder and the lightning's far-<strong>of</strong>f flare,<br />

And a sudden breath <strong>of</strong> coolness in the hot and murky air;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re's a patter on the shingles and a tap against the pane,-<br />

Oh, the orchestra is tuning for the Lullaby <strong>of</strong> Rain!" .<br />

As we read on through that poem we pass from the sultry heat <strong>of</strong><br />

summer, the weariness and burden <strong>of</strong> the sweltering day, right into the<br />

beauty and refreshment <strong>of</strong> the thunderstorm that bursts and the<br />

shower that follows. Clear through to the close the muse is on her, and<br />

she carries you right on with her.<br />

Listen,<br />

"I can hear the sleepy twitter <strong>of</strong> a bird's note from the trees,<br />

And the meadow-brook's hoarse murmur,<br />

borne upon the rising breeze;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re's a choked and chuckling gurgle from the overflowing eaves,<br />

And a drip! drip! drip! staccato from the soaked and streaming leaves,<br />

<strong>The</strong>n a hush along the shingles and a dash against the pane.<br />

Oh, a hundred voices mingle in the Lullaby <strong>of</strong> Rain!<br />

Now the single sounds are merging in a long crescendo roar<br />

That shall drown all lesser noises in its steady pelting pour;<br />

Hence, ye phantoms <strong>of</strong> old labor! ye shall haunt me now in vain'<br />

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As I drift away to dreamland to the Lullaby <strong>of</strong> Rain.”<br />

But perhaps the results <strong>of</strong> her girlhood rambles in the Jersey woods and<br />

along the Jersey coast was never brought out better in the later years,<br />

than in her two poems; "From Forest to Fender" and "Nature's Shut-Ins", In<br />

the latter she likens the shut-in life-to the ferns in God's flower<br />

kingdom, always found in the shade and cool retreats, in their greatest<br />

beauty when most hidden. Those two poems reached a shut-in lady in<br />

the Middle States. She was deeply touched and moved by them. She had<br />

not Miss Flint's gift <strong>of</strong> poetry, but she had the artist's eye and the artist's<br />

touch. She was lying on her back year after year and her one occupation<br />

was with the artist's brush. She had them fasten her paper on her<br />

canvas over her bed and lying there she did most exquisite paintings.<br />

She took these two poems and verse by verse she put the artist's touch<br />

in the margin. <strong>The</strong> flowers to which Miss Flint referred were all painted<br />

in in their natural colors, beautifully done, and then she sent the book,<br />

with its hand-painted touch, to Miss Flint as a tribute <strong>of</strong> one shut-in to<br />

another. Miss Flint prized these two poems so wonderfully illustrated<br />

as a precious treasure.<br />

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Characteristics<br />

Whether by nature or through her early Christian experience Miss<br />

Flint was generally disposed to be cheerful and optimistic. She looked<br />

on the bright side <strong>of</strong> life, and was quite fond <strong>of</strong> jokes and able to get as<br />

much enjoyment out <strong>of</strong> life as possible. Aunt Susie had <strong>of</strong>ten told her<br />

that when she was just learning to walk she marched across the room<br />

with head up regardless <strong>of</strong> any obstacles in the way, and that forwardlooking<br />

lift <strong>of</strong> the head was a characteristic attitude. It was typical <strong>of</strong><br />

the courage which she was to manifest in later life when she was<br />

hemmed in by so many trials. She certainly learned to endure hardness<br />

as a good soldier <strong>of</strong> Jesus Christ.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n she had a generous nature, and was ever ready to share what she<br />

had with others, and ever more willing to grant favors than to accept<br />

them.<br />

But we are sure that it is a mistake to touch on the commendable<br />

characteristics in her life records without lifting the veil on the other<br />

side. Annie was very human, and she herself had left a record <strong>of</strong> the<br />

glaring faults as she saw them. While still a child she had a very quick<br />

temper which flared up on slight provocation, but as quickly died down.<br />

She never claimed entire freedom from this tendency, but she had<br />

learned the secret <strong>of</strong> grace in overcoming.<br />

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Another characteristic was her acute sensitiveness, which made her<br />

keenly alive to the needs and the wrongs <strong>of</strong> others, and, as is usual with<br />

one <strong>of</strong> this nature, her likes and dislikes were intense. She admits<br />

further that if she was accused <strong>of</strong> something she had not done and for<br />

which she was unjustly reproved, she indulged in sulky spells which<br />

lasted far longer than the storm <strong>of</strong> temper. She would not speak to<br />

anyone while in these moods nor condescend to explain any mistake<br />

which might have been made. This was an unfortunate trait in girlhood.<br />

But she records her greatest fault as lack <strong>of</strong> patience, with herself as<br />

well as with others. She did not like to wait for things. She wanted to see<br />

results at once. With this there was coupled a dogged persistence and<br />

she refused to give up anything once begun, until it was finished. This<br />

helped her to accomplish many a hard and distasteful task, but all<br />

through her life the hardest lesson she had to learn was patience.<br />

Again and again she had to be reminded to wait patiently for the Lord.<br />

It was so much easier to wait eagerly and impatiently, or to spend. the<br />

time making plans and devising schemes for doing something when the<br />

waiting time was over. One text that seemed especially written for her<br />

was, "Through faith and patience we inherit the promises.”<br />

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Mixing the Bitter and Sweet<br />

Finishing her high school she spent one year at normal and then had a<br />

position <strong>of</strong>fered to her. It was a great temptation to begin earning<br />

money, and as her mother was failing in health, and had had one slight<br />

stroke, she felt that she was really needed at home, so she started<br />

teaching the primary class in the same school that she had attended as a<br />

girl. According to her contract with the normal school she taught for<br />

three years, though early in the second year arthritis showed itself.<br />

She tried several doctors in turn, but it steadily grew worse until it<br />

became difficult for her to walk at all, and she had hard work to finish<br />

out the third year. After that she was obliged to give up her work, and<br />

there followed three years <strong>of</strong> increasing helplessness.<br />

<strong>The</strong> death <strong>of</strong> both her adopted parents within a few months <strong>of</strong> each<br />

other left the two girls again alone. <strong>The</strong>re was little money in the bank<br />

and the twice orphaned children had come to a real "Red Sea Place" in<br />

their lives. It was just then that the faithful Aunt Susie again came to<br />

the rescue. She had been in the Sanitarium at Clifton Springs and was<br />

convinced that Annie could find help and healing there. Accordingly<br />

arrangements were made for Miss Flint to go and she was to have the<br />

rent <strong>of</strong> the house she was leaving for her income.<br />

Picture if you can the hopelessness <strong>of</strong> Miss Flint's position when she<br />

finally received the verdict <strong>of</strong> the doctors <strong>of</strong> the Clifton Springs<br />

Sanitarium that hence forth she would be a helpless invalid. Her own<br />

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parents had been taken from her in childhood, and then her foster<br />

parents both passed away. Her one sister was all too frail. and struggling<br />

to meet her own situation bravely. Miss Flint was in a condition where<br />

she was compelled to be dependent upon the care <strong>of</strong> others who<br />

could not afford to minister to her except as compensated by her. In<br />

after years she always stated that her poems were born <strong>of</strong> the need <strong>of</strong><br />

others and not from her own need; but one knows full well that she<br />

never could have written as she did for the comfort and help <strong>of</strong><br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> others if she had not had the background <strong>of</strong> facing those<br />

very crises in her own life. She tells, for instance, <strong>of</strong> the circumstances<br />

that drew forth that which perhaps has become her most widely known<br />

poem, "At the Place <strong>of</strong> the Sea". A friend wrote her that she was in great<br />

difficulty and facing great trouble, and she did not see where she was<br />

going to turn for help or what she was going to do. She wished that Miss<br />

Flint would help her pray for a way out. She had come to what she<br />

termed "the Red Sea place in her life". This expression struck Miss Flint,<br />

and she looked up the incident in the Bible. <strong>The</strong> thing that impressed<br />

her most was that though the Israelites did face the Red Sea, and had<br />

come to a place <strong>of</strong> impassable difficulty, where there actually was no<br />

way out, yet when God's time came He said to Moses, "Speak unto the<br />

children <strong>of</strong> Israel that they go forward," and when He said go forward,<br />

He opened the way. So she came to write the poem for her friend. She<br />

reminded her that the Red Sea was the place where the Lord showed His<br />

power in spite <strong>of</strong> seemingly impassable obstacles. Later this friend<br />

wrote saying, with a veritable triumph <strong>of</strong> Miriam's song in her letter,<br />

that the Lord had opened and the Lord led her through.<br />

But Miss Flint could never have entered into those conditions had she<br />

not been "led through". She would never have been able to help others if<br />

she had not passed along the road herself. And so we still feel that what<br />

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is commonly known as her "Red Sea poem" was born out <strong>of</strong> her own<br />

steps <strong>of</strong> faith. How could she have met the doubt in other lives if faith<br />

had not triumphed in the same sphere for herself? No, that first verse<br />

<strong>of</strong> her poem was beaten out in the bitter experiences <strong>of</strong> her own life as<br />

she wrote to others :<br />

"Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,<br />

Where in spite <strong>of</strong> all you can do<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no way out, there is no way back,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no other way but-through?<br />

<strong>The</strong>n wait on the Lord with a trust serene<br />

Till the night <strong>of</strong> your fear is gone;<br />

He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,<br />

When He says to your soul, 'Go on.' “<br />

And when she went on to say,<br />

"His hand will lead you through-clear through<br />

Ere the watery walls roll down.”<br />

She knew. She had passed through that way.<br />

It was thus that God guided this life into its channel <strong>of</strong> useful service.<br />

She loved music. She had spent much time in seeking to make herself<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>icient to fill any position in that sphere, and then the disease<br />

twisted up those poor fingers, and made playing impossible. It literally<br />

drove her to write poems.<br />

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Pressed Into Poetry and Print<br />

With a pen pushed through bent fingers and held by swollen joints she<br />

wrote first without any thought that it might be an avenue <strong>of</strong> ministry,<br />

or that it would bring her returns that might help her in her support.<br />

Her verses provided a solace for her in the long hours <strong>of</strong> suffering. But<br />

then she began the making <strong>of</strong> hand-lettered cards and gift books, and<br />

decorated some <strong>of</strong> her own verses. Her "Christmas Carols" became<br />

popular. Two card publishers printed these greetings, and this helped<br />

her to get her foot on the first rung <strong>of</strong> the ladder <strong>of</strong> support. It gave her<br />

the larger vision <strong>of</strong> possibly securing openings through some <strong>of</strong> the<br />

magazines, by which her poems could be a wider blessing, and at the<br />

same time bring some little return that would minister to her own<br />

pressing need. When we met her first, twenty years ago, she had<br />

succeeded in thus placing a number <strong>of</strong> her poems in the old Christian<br />

Endeavor World, and the Sunday School Times had accepted several.<br />

From the first her writings appealed to us, and we early made them a<br />

special feature in the columns <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Evangelical Christian.<br />

Testimonies came in from many directions <strong>of</strong> blessing received, and in<br />

1919 we ventured to put forth the first little brochure <strong>of</strong> her poems.<br />

under the title <strong>of</strong> "By the Way, Travelogues <strong>of</strong> Cheer.”<br />

Miss Flint entered into every detail <strong>of</strong> the publishing <strong>of</strong> that first little<br />

book <strong>of</strong> poems with wonderful interest. She was anxious not only as to<br />

the poetry. but as to the artistic presentation. She was delighted when<br />

the late Rev. W. H. Griffith-Thomas undertook to write the introduction.<br />

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It proved a marked success. and continues to this day one <strong>of</strong> the most<br />

popular <strong>of</strong> her booklets. Seven <strong>of</strong> these brochures, ever increasingly<br />

attractive, and ever more widely circulated, have now been issued.<br />

While her Canadian publishers really "discovered" her, to the Sunday<br />

School Times we think she was indebted for the largest step into the<br />

widest fellowship, In 1926 the Editors <strong>of</strong> that paper published a short<br />

article setting forth a few facts regarding the songwriter. To the large<br />

majority it evidently came as a complete surprise to know that Miss<br />

Flint was a shut-in. As soon as that fact became known, and that her<br />

support depended largely upon the sale <strong>of</strong> her books there came a<br />

perfect deluge <strong>of</strong> letters, no less than three thousand being received in<br />

the short space <strong>of</strong> seven weeks. For the time being she was certainly the<br />

best known person in Clifton Springs. While <strong>of</strong> course the first<br />

response was never repeated, there was the continuance <strong>of</strong> friendships<br />

created. Such spontaneous expressions <strong>of</strong> good will and interest came<br />

as a great encouragement to the invalid poetess, and inspired to new<br />

efforts to express in song the love and convictions <strong>of</strong> her heart and life.<br />

<strong>The</strong> issuance <strong>of</strong> her booklets and the action <strong>of</strong> the Sunday School Times<br />

linked her up with a world-wide fellowship. For a long time she sought<br />

to deal with this ministry herself, and to carry the burden <strong>of</strong><br />

correspondence. One wonders how she could ever get a pen through<br />

those poor twisted fingers; but she was a beautiful writer, and a<br />

wonderful correspondent. Her letters were unique, bright and breezy,<br />

though written from her bed <strong>of</strong> affliction. <strong>The</strong>y were as rich as her<br />

poems, and whatever the stage <strong>of</strong> her affliction, or however great the<br />

pain through which she might be passing, she always had a touch <strong>of</strong><br />

humor that was refreshing. One <strong>of</strong> her great regrets in the after years<br />

was that the progress <strong>of</strong> her affliction made it necessary to dictate her<br />

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messages to her friends, and <strong>of</strong> course this added to her expense. When<br />

she could afford it, she liked to go into the Sanitarium for a month or<br />

two around the Christmas season. It gave her a little more care and<br />

helpful medical treatment and at the same time she came into contact<br />

with a large number <strong>of</strong> guests in that great institution who purchased<br />

her booklets and her cards.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the lessons which she had to learn in connection with the faith<br />

life was that she could not dictate to the Lord as to how He was to supply<br />

the need. She had been brought up with sturdy independence. She still<br />

struggled to make ends meet. She still sought to cut down expenses in<br />

order that she might be able to pay as she went. <strong>The</strong> thought <strong>of</strong> charity<br />

was obnoxious to her. She loved to give to others and help those who<br />

were in need, but to receive from others-that was quite another. matter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> breaking down <strong>of</strong> her prejudice in this sphere came about in a very<br />

simple way. One <strong>of</strong> the boarders staying at the home where she lived,<br />

when saying good-bye, tactfully slipped into her hand a gift <strong>of</strong> money.<br />

This was the first time such a thing had ever happened, and Miss Flint's<br />

pride was up in arms at once. <strong>The</strong> woman evidently noticed a difference<br />

in her manner and explained she wished to leave some remembrance<br />

with her, but not, knowing what Miss Flint's special need might be,<br />

thought it better to let her choose. <strong>The</strong>n she added something which<br />

went home. Miss Flint never forgot it. She said, "You know Jesus Christ<br />

said 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' but how can there be any<br />

givers to whom the blessing can come unless there are those who are<br />

willing to receive? It takes two halves to make a whole." <strong>The</strong>n she<br />

appealed to Miss Flint and asked if their positions were reversed, and<br />

she had the means. would she not be glad to give? This turned things<br />

around so completely that Miss Flint had to own that she had no right<br />

to withhold the blessing <strong>of</strong> giving from others. She took the gift so<br />

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kindly meant, and tried to be a willing receiver if that would help some<br />

giver to obtain a blessing. Her life was lived, as someone has said, from<br />

hand to mouth, but as she liked to have it expressed, the mouth was<br />

hers, and the hand was God's, and His hand was never empty.<br />

But there came times <strong>of</strong> real trial and testing. Sales sometimes fell <strong>of</strong>f,<br />

and extra needs pressed in. Sometimes for considerable periods she had<br />

to have a trained nurse. <strong>The</strong>re were doctor's bills running up and then<br />

too she was under pressure <strong>of</strong> many other trials; but again it was in<br />

these very conditions that some <strong>of</strong> the heart experiences wrought by<br />

them, brought her where she could be a blessing and help to others.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> her sweetest sonnets which she says was born <strong>of</strong> the experience<br />

<strong>of</strong> another would never have found expression if it had not been for her<br />

own trials. <strong>The</strong> special incident that drew it forth was the visit <strong>of</strong> a little,<br />

tired, discouraged deaconess to Clifton Springs. She used to call and tell<br />

her troubles to Miss Flint, and when she left and went back to the West,<br />

she wrote saying how blue she felt, and how down-hearted, and she<br />

didn't see why God allowed such hard things to come into her life.<br />

Miss Flint put her answer into a poem. Nothing sweeter ever came from<br />

her pen. She entitled it, " What God Hath Promised". ·<br />

"God hath not promised But God hath promised<br />

Skies always blue,<br />

Strength for the day,<br />

Flower-strewn pathways Rest from the labor,<br />

All our lives through; · Light for the way;<br />

God hath not promised Grace for the trials,<br />

Sun without rain,<br />

Help from above,<br />

Joy without sorrow,<br />

Unfailing sympathy,<br />

Peace without pain. Undying love. " .<br />

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We were interested in finding this poem had passed over to Britain. A<br />

publisher there sent it to Germany to be brought out in beautiful<br />

colored form. It was most artistically produced, but they had omitted<br />

the name <strong>of</strong> the author. We fancy it became one <strong>of</strong> the best selling cards<br />

<strong>of</strong> the British publishers, but at least a share <strong>of</strong> the pr<strong>of</strong>its ought to have<br />

gone to maintain the one in whose dark hours triumphant faith had<br />

found expression in these words.<br />

Following the example <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Sunday School Times, <strong>The</strong> Evangelical<br />

Christian published a brief sketch <strong>of</strong> her life. This was done at a time <strong>of</strong><br />

particular difficulty in Miss Flint's life, and had very blessed results. It<br />

was suggested to the constituency <strong>of</strong> the magazine that if anyone cared<br />

to show his or her appreciation <strong>of</strong> this singer <strong>of</strong> sweet songs their gifts<br />

would be forwarded to Miss Flint. Knowing her extreme sensitiveness<br />

on this point, the news <strong>of</strong> what had been done was conveyed to her very<br />

tactfully, and was received with the same unwavering trust in God and<br />

implicit faith in His overshadowing providence in her life. <strong>The</strong> expenses<br />

<strong>of</strong> the invalid had increased greatly and the response to the appeal was<br />

gratifying. For a long time after her need was made known donations<br />

came in until well over $ 1,000 had been passed on to her to meet the<br />

ever-increasing expenses which she had to face owing to the progress<br />

<strong>of</strong> the disease. With the publication <strong>of</strong> other <strong>of</strong> her booklets the<br />

royalties increased and contributed materially to the supplying <strong>of</strong> her<br />

temporal needs until the time <strong>of</strong> her death. All <strong>of</strong> which was a matter <strong>of</strong><br />

pr<strong>of</strong>ound thanksgiving with the poetess, to whom Jehovah, the Lord<br />

who supplied, was a present reality.<br />

In another sphere her friends criticized and challenged her faith. As her<br />

story became known far and wide it was natural that she should receive<br />

many visitors. Many <strong>of</strong> these were, <strong>of</strong> course, earnest Christians, and<br />

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sincerely interested in her welfare. Among them were some who<br />

strongly believed that healing <strong>of</strong> the body was for every child <strong>of</strong> God.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir claim was that healing was in the Atonement and purchased for<br />

us by Christ, and that everyone who was walking obediently could claim<br />

deliverance from physical infirmities and bodily sickness. She listened<br />

to what they had to say. More than that, she went earnestly and<br />

prayerfully to search the Scriptures as to God's will. It was only after<br />

most painstaking study and prayer, and the reading <strong>of</strong> the best writers<br />

on this subject that she reached the conclusion that, while God can and<br />

does heal in this way in some cases, in others He does not; that He has<br />

seen fit to leave some <strong>of</strong> the most triumphant saints deeply afflicted<br />

She saw too that many <strong>of</strong> those who pressed their theory were<br />

themselves compassed with infirmity, and while telling others that they<br />

ought to claim healing, bore in their own lives the failure <strong>of</strong> their<br />

theory. Miss Flint became thoroughly convinced that God intended to<br />

glorify Himself through her, in her weak, earthen vessel, and while like<br />

Paul she had three times, and more, prayed that this might be taken<br />

from her, there came to her with real assurance the voice which said,<br />

"My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in<br />

weakness.’' She reached the place where she too could say with Paul,<br />

"Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities that the<br />

power <strong>of</strong> Christ may rest upon me.’'<br />

<strong>The</strong> faith life always brings faith fellowships, and in her friendships<br />

Miss Flint was singularly blessed. She felt that she had been enriched<br />

through them, and from all parts <strong>of</strong> the world she received words that<br />

were a constant comfort and stimulation to her. Many <strong>of</strong> these friends<br />

she never saw, and will wait to see them over on the other side. Some<br />

<strong>of</strong> them that she loved dearly went on before her.<br />

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Perhaps to these we owe the sweet little verse included in her "Songs <strong>of</strong><br />

Faith and Comfort", and entitled "<strong>The</strong> Blessings That Remain". <strong>The</strong> first<br />

stanza reads:<br />

"<strong>The</strong>re are loved ones who are missing<br />

From the fireside and the feast;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are faces that have vanished,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are voices that have ceased;<br />

But we know they passed forever<br />

From our mortal grief and pain,<br />

And we thank <strong>The</strong>e, 0 our Father,<br />

For the blessings that remain.”<br />

It was on one <strong>of</strong> these occasions when her little group <strong>of</strong> friends had<br />

been visited with sorrow, and when a missionary from South America<br />

was mourning the loss <strong>of</strong> his beloved wife that he sent to Miss Flint a<br />

little card on which were printed the words, "I don't look back. <strong>The</strong> Lord<br />

knows all the shortcomings. I don't look in, or I should be wretched. I<br />

just keep looking up into His face.'' It was this that drew from Miss Flint<br />

the sweet response in poetic form, "But We See Jesus”.<br />

I don't look back, God knows the fruitless efforts,<br />

<strong>The</strong> wasted hours, the sinning, the regrets,<br />

I leave them all with Him who blots the record,<br />

And mercifully forgives, and then forgets.<br />

I don't look forward, God sees all the future,<br />

<strong>The</strong> road -that, short or long, will lead me home,<br />

And He will face with me its every trial,<br />

And bear for me the burdens that may come.<br />

But I look up-into the face <strong>of</strong> Jesus,<br />

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For there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled,<br />

And there is joy, and love, and light for darkness,<br />

And perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the amusing things about this poem was that when it was<br />

published in <strong>The</strong> Evangelical Christian a lady down south wrote to the<br />

Editor saying that a mistake had been made, that her uncle was the<br />

author <strong>of</strong> the poem and that she had found it in his own hand writing<br />

on his desk after his death. This letter was sent to Miss Flint asking for<br />

an explanation to satisfy the lady. She remembered perfectly where and<br />

why it was written. She remembered also that a few years before she<br />

had received a letter from a man in the south. He told her he had read<br />

that poem and liked it so much that he wanted to improve it a little. He<br />

had gone to the extent <strong>of</strong> re-writing some <strong>of</strong> the lines. Not only this, he<br />

had printed some copies signing Miss Flint's name, and adding,<br />

"Revised by So-and-So." She put his letter aside to answer later when<br />

she had cooled <strong>of</strong>f a little, but it was mislaid and could not be found<br />

until it turned up in a box <strong>of</strong> old letters several years afterwards. This<br />

identified the uncle and vindicated the author.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Poetical <strong>The</strong>ologian<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no place where the Christian has been still more orthodox<br />

than in his hymn book. It is true that there is occasionally a hymn that<br />

is open to criticism by the strict theologian, but as a whole our hymn<br />

books have been orthodox and hymns express not only the highest<br />

ecstasy <strong>of</strong> the heart, but the deepest truths <strong>of</strong> the Scriptures. When one<br />

comes to study this life from the theological standpoint it bears out the<br />

old idea that religion primarily is <strong>of</strong> the heart rather than the intellect.<br />

With the poet the heart predominates, and in hymnology we have the<br />

highest expression <strong>of</strong> the Christian soul when related aright to<br />

Christian truths.<br />

Commencing with God's revelation in Nature, nothing could be better<br />

outside <strong>of</strong> the 19th Psalm and other Scriptures than Annie Johnson<br />

Flint's tribute to the Creator as seen in His creation. A poem entitled<br />

"<strong>The</strong> Song <strong>of</strong> Creation" is classical in its language and rich in its<br />

incitement to worship and praise. Some <strong>of</strong> these would be suitable for<br />

expressions <strong>of</strong> thanksgiving in the great congregation. Another one <strong>of</strong><br />

these is the "Spring Song <strong>of</strong> Praise".<br />

"Praise. the Lord, ye heaven <strong>of</strong> heavens,<br />

Sun and moon and stars <strong>of</strong> light;<br />

Praise Him, all His vast creation,<br />

Deepest deep and highest height.<br />

Praise Him, meadow, mount and valley,<br />

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Praise Him, forest, field and stream,<br />

Praise Him, sky and earth and ocean,<br />

Roused from winter's chilling, dream .”<br />

In most <strong>of</strong> the dissertations on theology it is customary to commence<br />

with the attitude <strong>of</strong> the writer toward the Scriptures themselves. In this<br />

Annie Johnson Flint did more than rhyme out.her reasons why she<br />

believed the Bible to be the Word <strong>of</strong> God. In one <strong>of</strong> her poems, " <strong>The</strong><br />

Things That Remain", she says,<br />

"And though the little hills shall melt,<br />

<strong>The</strong> mighty mountains move,<br />

Though earth and heaven shall pass away,<br />

And suns unstable prove,<br />

Though faithless stars shall cease to shine,<br />

And there is no more sea,<br />

Still changeless as the changeless God<br />

<strong>The</strong> Word <strong>of</strong> God shall be;”<br />

In another poem on "<strong>The</strong> Steering Star", she concludes,<br />

"Oh, wavering lights <strong>of</strong> man's device,<br />

Oh, burned-out suns <strong>of</strong> human thought,<br />

Your fitful gleams will not suffice<br />

To find the heaven that we sought,<br />

Light <strong>of</strong> the world, our hope is here;<br />

Star <strong>of</strong> our faith, we look to <strong>The</strong>e;<br />

Sure Word <strong>of</strong> God, unwavering, clear,<br />

Guide Thou our souls across the sea.”<br />

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That strength <strong>of</strong> conviction in the Word perhaps is never better<br />

expressed than in her little poem entitled "I Know". <strong>The</strong> first verse runs<br />

as follows :<br />

"I know-against this fortress wall<br />

<strong>The</strong> gates <strong>of</strong> hell shall not prevail,<br />

I know in Whom I have believed<br />

And that His Word shall never fail;<br />

I know that He is able still,<br />

Is strong to save and strong to keep.<br />

And all that I commit to Him<br />

Is safe, though I may wake or sleep.”<br />

But she had no sympathy with those who made great pr<strong>of</strong>ession <strong>of</strong><br />

believing the whole Bible and yet were constantly manifesting a spirit<br />

contrary to all its deepest teaching. Her thought <strong>of</strong> the Bible was to have<br />

it transferred into the life that it transfigures. In one <strong>of</strong> her poems on<br />

"<strong>The</strong> World's Bible", she says,<br />

"We are the only Bible<br />

<strong>The</strong> careless world will read,<br />

We are the sinner's gospel,<br />

We are the sc<strong>of</strong>fer's creed,<br />

We are the Lord's last message,<br />

Given in deed and word.<br />

What if the type is crooked?<br />

What if the print be blurred?”<br />

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She felt we were to be living epistles if we were to commend the Gospel<br />

which we preach. With the teaching that undermines faith in the Bible<br />

under the specious pretext <strong>of</strong> modern thought she had no sympathy.<br />

She saw through its proud claims <strong>of</strong> superior scholarship, and she paid<br />

her respects to them in several <strong>of</strong> her poems.<br />

But orthodoxy finds its vital test when one comes to the Atonement and<br />

the Christ that died. Her little booklet, "Songs <strong>of</strong> the Saviour", sets forth<br />

her position here. Perhaps one <strong>of</strong> the sweetest in this sphere is the one<br />

in which she brings before us the unbelief <strong>of</strong> Thomas, and his assertion<br />

that he would not believe except he could put his fingers in the print <strong>of</strong><br />

the nails. She says,<br />

"Except we see in His hand the print <strong>of</strong> the nail that marred it,<br />

Except we see in His side the mark <strong>of</strong> the spear that scarred it,<br />

We are right to refuse to believe, to challenge His claims and doubt<br />

them, For the wounds are the sign <strong>of</strong> the Christ, and He will not<br />

come without them.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> closing verse <strong>of</strong> that poem brings one to the fact that it is not<br />

enough simply to assert that you believe in the Atonement. <strong>The</strong>re must<br />

be personal appropriation <strong>of</strong> the purchase <strong>of</strong> the Crucified One.<br />

Her last stanza reads :<br />

"For it is not enough for our faith<br />

that others have seen and known Him;<br />

But each for himself must see,<br />

and each for himself must own Him; , . ,<br />

And each must touch the print <strong>of</strong> the nails,<br />

the pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> His claim receiving,<br />

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And each must cry, 'My Lord, my God',<br />

and fall at His feet, believing.”<br />

But one <strong>of</strong> her most striking testimonies to the Cross is found in her<br />

Nature Psalms, her little booklet, **”Out <strong>of</strong> Doors” She laid hold <strong>of</strong> a<br />

report concerning a beautiful natural formation <strong>of</strong> the Cross on the<br />

Island <strong>of</strong> Manan, in the Bay <strong>of</strong> Fundy. We have since received a<br />

photograph <strong>of</strong> that very rock. With the mental picture <strong>of</strong> that rocky<br />

Cross before her keen vision, she penned her lines on "<strong>The</strong> Crag <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Cross”. It is one <strong>of</strong> her longest poems. Listen to the first stanza :<br />

"Beside the bleak coast <strong>of</strong> the Northland,<br />

where winds with the tempests keep tryst,<br />

Amid a wild welter <strong>of</strong> waters,<br />

an island looms out <strong>of</strong> the mist;<br />

Forever the high tide <strong>of</strong> Fundy<br />

sweeps past with a rush and a roar,<br />

Forever the gulls cry their warning<br />

when fog wreathes the desolate shore;<br />

Above the gray billows the cliffs frown,<br />

above the grim cliffs - bends the sky,<br />

And clear against cliff-side and heavens,<br />

the Crag <strong>of</strong> the Cross rises high.”<br />

Her second stanza may well be included here,<br />

"Of old hath He laid its foundation<br />

who holdeth the sea in His hand,<br />

Who weigheth its waters by measure<br />

and setteth their bounds by the sand;<br />

**Out <strong>of</strong> Doors Nature Songs by Annie Johnson Flint<br />

https://bit.ly/2QEmZkJ<br />

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And slowly His craftsmen have carved it,<br />

-the frost and the storm and the wave-<br />

Rough-hewn from the rock everlasting<br />

where aeons their annals might grave.<br />

Long, long, ere o'er Bethlehem's manger<br />

the Star shed its radiant light,<br />

And long ere on Calvary's summit<br />

the noonday was shrouded in night;<br />

While kingdoms and nations had risen<br />

and played their brief parts for a day,<br />

And countless new creeds and old systems<br />

had flourished and passed to decay;<br />

While oracles lapsed into silence<br />

and prophets grew weary and dumb,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Cross, through the centuries waiting,<br />

was pledge <strong>of</strong> a faith yet to come.”<br />

That poem in its entirety must surely be one <strong>of</strong> the things that will<br />

remain as her contribution to the English language, and to the<br />

Christian faith.<br />

When one comes to the next item <strong>of</strong> Christian faith and reaches the<br />

theme <strong>of</strong> the Resurrection, rich inspiration flows from her pen. It was<br />

not just to supply the demand for Easter cards. Her heart welled up in<br />

fellowship with a living Savior. In one poem already quoted "Know", she<br />

has a resurrection verse as follows :<br />

" 'I know'-upon this lighthouse tower<br />

<strong>The</strong> winds and waves shall beat in vain;<br />

I know that my Redeemer lives<br />

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And in His death all Death was slain;<br />

I know my life is hid with Him<br />

Beyond the reach <strong>of</strong> change or harm,<br />

And if he and death to me are one<br />

Within the shelter <strong>of</strong> His arm.”<br />

Another resurrection poem she took from the little word in Matthew<br />

28:6, "He is risen, as He said". <strong>The</strong> last three words were her title. It ran as<br />

follows :<br />

"He has risen, as He said.<br />

Christ the Lord the promise gave<br />

To His weak disciples' hearts<br />

When He told <strong>of</strong> cross and grave;<br />

But they failed to understand<br />

And they heard-or heeded-not,<br />

And, when they had seen Him dead<br />

All His promise they forgot.<br />

"So upon that Easter mom<br />

When the long, sad hours were past,<br />

And they came unto the tomb<br />

Where the watch had sealed Him fast,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y had not remembered yet<br />

All the gracious words He said,<br />

Till the shining angel spake :<br />

'He is risen, as He said.' “<br />

Two other stanzas complete her resurrection poem, and lead on to the<br />

truth that should always follow, the Blessed Hope <strong>of</strong> the Christian.<br />

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Her conversion in the Methodist Church, even though she had been<br />

reared in the midst <strong>of</strong> Baptists, gave no predisposition to stress the<br />

doctrine <strong>of</strong> the Second Advent. Methodists have largely suppressed that<br />

truth since the days <strong>of</strong> the Wesleys and Coke, and yet her faith here<br />

came from the simple Word <strong>of</strong> God. She could not sit and listen to her<br />

Lord as He said, "If I go away, I will come again," without simply asking<br />

what He meant: and when she followed on through the great scene <strong>of</strong><br />

His glorious ascension and listened to the men in white, she thought<br />

she had her answer. "This same Jesus, whom ye have seen go from you<br />

into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go." So<br />

she turned her pen from time to time to that which was to her a<br />

comforting hope. Laying hold <strong>of</strong> the words <strong>of</strong> the loved Disciple, "We<br />

Shall See Him as He is," she wrote the simple stanzas,<br />

"We shall see Him as He is-<br />

Not as men for long have thought Him,<br />

While through all the circling years<br />

Blind and stumbling they have sought Him ;<br />

Not as fierce and warring sects<br />

Each in turn have claimed to know Him,<br />

Nor as Love, who knoweth yet<br />

But in part, is fain to show Him.<br />

Nor as even Hope, who far<br />

In the country <strong>of</strong> her dreaming,<br />

Hath espied Him, like a star<br />

Faintly through the shadows gleaming.<br />

Nor as Faith in visions fair<br />

From her mountain height hath seen Him,<br />

Darkly through the glass <strong>of</strong> time,<br />

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With the mists <strong>of</strong> earth to screen Him.<br />

We shall see Him as He is-<br />

Face to face shall we behold Him,<br />

When the visions and the dreams<br />

And the clouds no more enfold Him;<br />

In His likeness we shall wake,<br />

Spirit unto spirit calling,<br />

'Neath the white flame <strong>of</strong> His eyes<br />

All the earthly from us falling;<br />

We shall stand all spotless, pure,<br />

Gazing on His unveiled graces,<br />

While we feel the glory grow<br />

On our rapt and upturned faces.<br />

Till the Master, looking down,<br />

On the silver <strong>of</strong> His fining,<br />

Shall behold reflected there<br />

His own image clear and shining. “<br />

That Blessed Hope spurred her to missionary activity. She sought to do<br />

her part in hastening the coming <strong>of</strong> the Lord by encouraging in every<br />

way she could the spread <strong>of</strong> the Gospel in all lands. She expressed her<br />

hope <strong>of</strong> the glorious day when the Gospel and the Christ should prevail,<br />

in the words <strong>of</strong> the poem she entitled, "As the Waters Cover the Sea”.<br />

But one other <strong>of</strong> her best poems on the Second Coming she took from<br />

the word <strong>of</strong> the great Resurrection chapter, "We shall not all sleep but<br />

we shall all be changed"; and in 1 <strong>The</strong>ss. 4: 1 7, "We shall be caught up . . .<br />

to meet the Lord in the air.” That Blessed Hope caught her up in the<br />

muse <strong>of</strong> the poet, and she penned the words, "We shall change:<br />

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"We shall change:<br />

Into something new and strange.<br />

Death shall set his captives free;<br />

Mortal shall immortal be;<br />

We shall put the earthly by<br />

Sin and sin's defiling stain,<br />

Weakness, weariness, and pain<br />

Evermore like Him to be<br />

Whom at last our eyes shall see;<br />

Into something fair and strange<br />

We shall change.<br />

We shall go--<br />

Not with funeral 'cortege slow,<br />

Not with toll <strong>of</strong> passing bell'<br />

Human grief and gloom to tell,<br />

But with shout <strong>of</strong> Christ on high,<br />

Trump <strong>of</strong> God and angel's cry;<br />

We who dwell as exiles here,<br />

Longing for a land more dear,<br />

Joyful, to our home above,<br />

Joyful, to the Lord we love,<br />

From all evils here below<br />

We shall go.”<br />

She took no interest in hairsplitting theories about the Second Coming.<br />

She deprecated controversy and bitterness in this sphere. She<br />

fellowshipped and loved all those who love His appearing. This was no<br />

doctrine with her. She was looking for a Person who had given a<br />

promise. When she saw earth's woes, she longed for the coming again<br />

<strong>of</strong> the World's Redeemer.<br />

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Songs <strong>of</strong> Comfort<br />

But it was not in the setting forth <strong>of</strong> Christian doctrine in poetic form<br />

that Annie Johnson Flint’s greatest ministry lay. It was in the<br />

application <strong>of</strong> Christian truths to the experiences <strong>of</strong> life. It was to the<br />

weary pilgrim on life's journey that she sang her sweetest song. She<br />

knew the One who was the Man <strong>of</strong> Sorrows. She had drunk her own cup<br />

<strong>of</strong> bitterness and could sympathize. And to the weary traveller along<br />

earth's way she sought to sing her songs <strong>of</strong> help and hope. One <strong>of</strong> the<br />

sweetest single stanza poems that she wrote was perhaps<br />

"Thy Strength and My Day" :<br />

"Give me Thy strength for my day, Lord,<br />

That wheresoe'er I go,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re shall no danger daunt me<br />

And I shall fear no foe;<br />

So shall no task o'ercome me,<br />

So shall no trial fret,<br />

So shall I walk unwearied<br />

<strong>The</strong> path where my feet are set;<br />

So shall I find no burden<br />

Greater than I can bear,<br />

So shall I have a courage<br />

Equal, to all my care;<br />

So shall no grief o'erwhelm me,<br />

So shall no wave o'erflow;-<br />

Give me Thy strength for my day, Lord,<br />

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Cover my weakness so."<br />

We wonder if anyone, outside <strong>of</strong> sacred writ, ever met the weary<br />

pilgrim with a sweeter word than that which Annie Johnson Flint<br />

incorporated into her little poem on "<strong>The</strong> Court <strong>of</strong> the King';. <strong>The</strong><br />

opening stanzas read :<br />

"With staff that had failed in my need<br />

Where the road had been stony and steep;<br />

With lamp that was smoking and dim;<br />

Though the darkness was growing more deep;<br />

Weary, too weary to pray<br />

And too heavy-hearted to sing,<br />

Faint with the toils <strong>of</strong> the way<br />

I came to the court· <strong>of</strong> the King.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re where the fountains fall cool,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir waters unfailing and pure;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re where the ministering palms<br />

Stand like His promises sure,<br />

Oh! there was peace in its shade,<br />

Oh! there was rest in its calm;<br />

And its sweet silences lay<br />

On my bruised spirit like balm.”<br />

Surely, weary pilgrim on Life's journey, this woman must have been in<br />

one <strong>of</strong> Bunyan's pilgrim parties. She knew the things that you and I<br />

have passed by the way, when she, wrote the above sweet words. And<br />

then she went on to say: ''Long did I kneel in His court,<br />

And walk in his garden, so fair;<br />

All I had lost or had lacked<br />

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I found in His treasuries there;<br />

Oil to replenish my lamp,<br />

His kindness a crown for my head,<br />

For the staff that had wounded my hand<br />

<strong>The</strong> rod <strong>of</strong> His mercy instead.”<br />

With scarcely a break in the stanzas she continues on to its conclusion :<br />

"A garment <strong>of</strong> praises I found<br />

For the sullen, dark garb I had worn,<br />

And sandals <strong>of</strong> peace for the feet<br />

That the rocks and the briers had torn;<br />

Joy for my mourning He gave,<br />

<strong>Making</strong> my Spirit to sing,<br />

And, girded with gladness and strength,<br />

I passed from the court <strong>of</strong> the King.”<br />

Only one who had borne the heat and burden <strong>of</strong> the day; only one who<br />

had shared earth's trials and been through earth's tumult, and then<br />

turned to the quietness <strong>of</strong> the closet and to the treasures <strong>of</strong> the precious<br />

Word <strong>of</strong> God, could have penned such lines as those. We question<br />

whether a pain-free life could ever have beaten out the treasures that<br />

she has left for our enjoyment. <strong>The</strong> writer <strong>of</strong> these lines has again and<br />

again picked up one <strong>of</strong> her little poem pamphlets in times <strong>of</strong><br />

discouragement and the words have faced him with cheer and help, and<br />

he has longed that others might read that which blessed his soul. Take<br />

such a one as she put forth under the title,<br />

" Your Father Knoweth" ….-<br />

"He knoweth the need <strong>of</strong> my life<br />

For shelter and raiment and food;<br />

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In each trifling care <strong>of</strong> the day<br />

<strong>The</strong> word <strong>of</strong> His promise is good;<br />

He knoweth my thought from afar,<br />

<strong>The</strong> wish that I never have told,<br />

And every unspoken desire<br />

His wisdom doth grant or withhold.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n come two other stanzas, one <strong>of</strong> which is headed "He knoweth the<br />

way that I take", and the third stanza, "He knoweth the need <strong>of</strong> my soul".<br />

And then she comes to the concluding verse in the sweet words :<br />

"He knoweth me-yet He can love,<br />

Can wait with love's patience divine, ·<br />

My stubborn and arrogant heart,<br />

Its will to His own to resign;<br />

He knoweth my frame is but dust;<br />

He knoweth how much it can bear;<br />

I rest in that knowledge supreme;<br />

I trust in His power and care.”<br />

In those more than forty years <strong>of</strong> suffering there was many a day which<br />

would have pressed out from the poet's heart the words that we have in<br />

another sweet song :<br />

"I am so tired Lord-oh, lift me up<br />

To Thine. unfailing strength and rest me so.<br />

I am so weary <strong>of</strong> the stress and strain,<br />

<strong>The</strong> fevered rush, the grinding daily toil<br />

For daily bread, that wears my poor life out<br />

To keep life in-oh, lift me, lift me, Lord,<br />

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To Thine enfolding peace, and calm me so,”<br />

And that poem leads through and on and up until this last word which<br />

evidences that the answer to her wish and her cry had come:<br />

"What need have I <strong>of</strong> any more than this?”<br />

We do not wonder that her little book entitled "Songs <strong>of</strong> Faith and<br />

Comfort", from which this gem is taken, has been passed on to<br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> those who are treading a similar path.<br />

Annie Johnson Flint believed in and exemplified what some have called<br />

the "deeper life" and others designate "the higher life". She believed that<br />

Christians should go on, ever on, experimentally; into the truth <strong>of</strong> God.<br />

Taking the words <strong>of</strong> Paul. "<strong>The</strong>refore, leaving the first principles let us<br />

go on unto perfection." She wrote a poetic incitement under the title,<br />

"Let Us Go On" :<br />

"Some <strong>of</strong> us stay at the cross,<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> us wait at the tomb,<br />

Quickened and raised together with Christ,<br />

Yet lingering still in its gloom;<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> us bide at the passover feast<br />

With Pentecost all unknown-<br />

<strong>The</strong> triumphs <strong>of</strong> grace in the heavenly place<br />

That our Lord has made our own.<br />

If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross<br />

His work had been incomplete,<br />

If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb<br />

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He had only known defeat;<br />

But the Way <strong>of</strong> the Cross never stops at the Cross,<br />

And the Way <strong>of</strong> the Tomb leads on,<br />

To victorious grace in the heavenly place.<br />

Where the risen Lord has gone.<br />

So, let us go on with our Lord<br />

To the fullness <strong>of</strong> God He has bought,<br />

Unsearchable riches <strong>of</strong> glory and good<br />

Exceeding our uttermost thought;<br />

Let us grow up into Christ,<br />

Claiming His life and its powers,--<br />

<strong>The</strong> triumphs <strong>of</strong> grace, in the heavenly place<br />

That our conquering Lord has made ours.”<br />

Annie Johnson Flint has taught us the lesson once more that the<br />

deepest things are <strong>of</strong>ten comprehended by the simple mind, and that<br />

the things pr<strong>of</strong>ound can be apprehended by the child. <strong>The</strong> highest<br />

heights and the deepest depths she expressed in such sweet language,<br />

and language that can be understood by all. So many <strong>of</strong> her best poems<br />

found their suggestions from the texts which she heard and read. <strong>The</strong><br />

sermon took a simpler form when she put it forth in rhyme. We think<br />

any preacher can preach the better from Ephesians 3:17-19, "That we<br />

may be able to comprehend the breadth and length and depth and<br />

height and to know the love <strong>of</strong> Christ which passeth knowledge'', after<br />

reading her poetic homily. Her little sermonette takes up in its five<br />

stanzas, five great questions from the text. It starts <strong>of</strong>f : "How broad is<br />

His love? Oh, as broad as man's trespass,<br />

As wide - the need <strong>of</strong> the world can be;<br />

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And yet for the need <strong>of</strong> one soul it can narrow<br />

He came to the world and He came to me.”<br />

Under her first heading she comprehends as much as many a preacher<br />

gets into a whole sermon. <strong>The</strong>n take her second stanza. which takes up<br />

the question <strong>of</strong> dimension :<br />

"How long is His love? Without end or beginning,<br />

Eternal as Christ and His life it must be,<br />

For, to everlasting as from everlasting<br />

He loveth the world and He loveth me.”<br />

She gathers up the ends <strong>of</strong> the two eternities <strong>of</strong> the past and future and<br />

packs them all into that little verse expressive <strong>of</strong> the love <strong>of</strong> Christ. And<br />

then she continues;<br />

"How deep is His love? Oh, as deep as man's sinning,<br />

As low as that uttermost vileness can be;<br />

In the fathomless gulf <strong>of</strong> the Father's forsaking<br />

He died for the world and He died for me.”<br />

In those four simple lines she takes one to Calvary and the great theme<br />

in which the Christ Himself cries out that tremendous question, "My<br />

God! My God! why hast Thou forsaken me?" And she makes that the<br />

plumb line to try and fathom its depths. What will she do with the other<br />

dimension? You get it in her fourth stanza :<br />

"How high is His love? It is high as the heavens,<br />

As high as the throne <strong>of</strong> His glory must be;<br />

And yet from that height He hath stooped to redeem us,<br />

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He so loved the world and He so loved me.”<br />

She passes from dimensions to comprehension, and in her closing<br />

verse, she presses home that love into the bounds <strong>of</strong> personal<br />

experience where she raises in the final stanza the last question :<br />

"How great is His love? Oh, it passeth all knowledge,<br />

No man's comprehension its measure can be;<br />

It filleth the world, yet each heart may contain it<br />

He so loved the world and he so loves me.”<br />

We challenge Christians to pick up any one <strong>of</strong> her little booklets<br />

without finding something that will call their lives to deeper trust in<br />

Christ, or make the presence <strong>of</strong> the Christ more real to the daily life. In<br />

this brief sketch we cannot quote more largely than we have done.<br />

That he would grant you, according to the riches <strong>of</strong> his glory, to be strengthened with<br />

might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that<br />

ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what<br />

is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love <strong>of</strong> Christ,<br />

which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness <strong>of</strong> God.<br />

Ephesians 3:16-19<br />

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Sunset and Eventide<br />

Miss Flint determined that there was to be "no moaning <strong>of</strong> the bar<br />

when she put out to sea". <strong>The</strong> last years <strong>of</strong> her life brought her no ease<br />

from her affliction, no lessening <strong>of</strong> the pain and suffering. And yet, we<br />

think that in those closing years she really exemplified more than ever<br />

some <strong>of</strong> the sweetness <strong>of</strong> her earlier verses. Her "Water Lily Story" was<br />

one <strong>of</strong> the first poems in print, and we like to think <strong>of</strong> it as typical <strong>of</strong><br />

her life. It was really written for a baby book in July. She was moved to<br />

write it in a way that turned out to be a real providence for her. She had<br />

faced an unexpected deficit in her income. When this poem was <strong>of</strong>fered<br />

to the "Youths' Companion" it found a response and brought her a<br />

cheque that just met her need. Again it takes us back to her girlhood<br />

observations. We wish we could present " <strong>The</strong> Water Lily", as she<br />

wrote it :<br />

"When first I woke to life;<br />

Deep down in the river's bed,<br />

I could not breathe for the stifling ooze<br />

And the blackness over my head.<br />

In darkness I longed for the light,<br />

Prisoned, I yearned to be free,<br />

In dreams I pined for the sky and the wind,<br />

For star and bird and tree;<br />

And I said : 'I will rise to that upper air,<br />

And the life that draweth me.’<br />

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<strong>The</strong> twining weeds <strong>of</strong> the water-world<br />

Reached out and held me fast;<br />

<strong>The</strong> lithe reeds wove a tangled net<br />

To catch me as I passed;<br />

<strong>The</strong> creeping things <strong>of</strong> mire and mud<br />

Beckoned and bade me stay;<br />

In the treacherous current, swift and strong,<br />

I felt my weak stem sway;<br />

But through them, over them, past them all,<br />

I took my upward way”<br />

<strong>The</strong>n one thinks <strong>of</strong> the closing part <strong>of</strong> this wonderful life as it seemed to<br />

open up and bloom for the world's blessing, and she goes on :<br />

"Till, white, white,<br />

Brimmed with sunshine and steeped in light,<br />

I lifted up my fragrant cup-<br />

Bloom <strong>of</strong> the daytime and star <strong>of</strong> the night<br />

In rapture I gazed at the heavens blue<br />

And knew that all my dreams were true.”<br />

In the last stanza she concludes with the words :<br />

"Till, pure and white,<br />

Filled with glory and steeped in light,<br />

No trace <strong>of</strong> the soil from whence it springs<br />

Staining the Soul's expanding wings,<br />

You too Shall see the arching heaven's blue<br />

And find that all your dreams are true.<br />

You shall eat <strong>of</strong> joy as your daily bread,<br />

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Through love you shall learn and by loving live;<br />

You shall drink <strong>of</strong> life at the fountain head,<br />

And that life to the world in sweetness give.”<br />

In later years, her Water Lily poem was broadcast from a San Francisco<br />

station and brought her a great response and dozens <strong>of</strong> letters. In Miss<br />

Flint's own notes from which this sketch <strong>of</strong> her life is written, her<br />

affliction receives little notice. She would have it so. Although crippled,<br />

she did not consider herself helpless in the sense that she could do<br />

nothing but bemoan her lot. She believed that God had laid her aside<br />

for a purpose, even although that purpose was obscured to her at times,<br />

but she also believed that He had work for her to do, and she put her<br />

very best into the writing <strong>of</strong> her poems, rendering this ministry unto<br />

Him. <strong>The</strong> result has been that her verses have an unusually deep appeal<br />

to human hearers. <strong>The</strong> simple reason is that she felt what she wrote,<br />

and out <strong>of</strong> the crucible <strong>of</strong> suffering she was able to administer that<br />

comfort to others wherewith she herself had been comforted <strong>of</strong> God.<br />

No one but God and she knew what suffering she endured as the disease<br />

became worse with the passing <strong>of</strong> the years, and new complications<br />

developed. But through it all, her faith in the goodness and mercy <strong>of</strong><br />

God never wavered. <strong>The</strong>re were many times no doubt when her soul<br />

would be burdened with the mystery <strong>of</strong> it all and the . why and<br />

wherefore <strong>of</strong>, the thing she was called upon to endure. In that respect<br />

she was most human like the rest <strong>of</strong> us, but the marvelous thing is that<br />

her faith never faltered, and that she was at all times able to say "Thy<br />

Will be Done". For more than forty years there was hardly a day when<br />

she did not suffer pain. For thirty-seven years she had become<br />

increasingly helpless. Every joint in her body had become rigid,<br />

although she was able to turn her head, and in great pain write a few<br />

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lines on paper. But long before these later years <strong>of</strong> helplessness she had<br />

received her one great affirmation from God which settled all her<br />

doubts. Perhaps the shortest stanza which she wrote was upon the<br />

words, "Wherefore all the promises <strong>of</strong> God in Him are yea and amen."<br />

To this verse she wrote:<br />

" 'Is God-?' 'Hath God-?' 'Doth God-?'<br />

Man's 'Why?' and How?'<br />

In ceaseless iteration storm the sky.<br />

'I am'; 'I will'; 'I do'; sure Word <strong>of</strong> God,<br />

Yea and Amen, Christ answereth each cry;<br />

To all our anguished questionings and doubts<br />

Eternal affirmation and reply.”<br />

In less than a week before the passing, Mrs. Bingham and Mr. Stock,<br />

with whom Miss Flint had had most <strong>of</strong> the correspondence about the<br />

publication <strong>of</strong> her poems, called to see her, in the early morning. <strong>The</strong><br />

nurse gave her "no" to the request for an interview, but when the name<br />

was passed in, she said it mattered not whether it was morning, noon or<br />

night, nothing should keep them out <strong>of</strong> her chamber. And for an hour<br />

they had delightful fellowship. <strong>The</strong>re was no thought then <strong>of</strong> the<br />

immediate passing. But on the Thursday morning, the following week,<br />

September 8th, she felt very tired arid wondered if she could live the<br />

day out. When the doctor was called he stated that it was just weakness.<br />

But all that day she did not improve and the doctor was called again in<br />

the evening. He saw at once that she was in great distress and her heart<br />

was behaving badly. Before giving her a hypodermic he asked if there<br />

was anything she wished to say or have her friends do as she might not<br />

rally. Her last words were: "I have nothing to say. It's all right." A few<br />

minutes later she had gone to be with Christ. Sorrow, affliction, pain,<br />

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suffering and death was ended forever, for the former things had<br />

passed away. One may well apply to her end the words <strong>of</strong> the book <strong>of</strong><br />

Revelation : "<strong>The</strong>se are they which came out <strong>of</strong> great tribulation and<br />

have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Lamb." And going to another book <strong>of</strong> a great dreamer and writer <strong>of</strong><br />

whom Miss Flint was very fond, we have drawn forth the words that<br />

told the story in a similar fashion :<br />

"Now the day drew on when she must be gone.<br />

And behold all the Banks beyond the River were full<br />

<strong>of</strong> horses and chariots which were coming down from above<br />

to accompany her to the City gates. So she came forth and entered<br />

the River with a beck and a farewell to those that followed her to<br />

the River side. <strong>The</strong> last words she was heard to say here were<br />

'I come, Lord, to be with <strong>The</strong>e and bless <strong>The</strong>e.' “<br />

In considering the life <strong>of</strong> Annie Johnson Flint one is perplexed with<br />

questions as old as humanity itself, such as the mystery <strong>of</strong> pain and<br />

suffering. That the wicked should suffer as the reward for their wrongdoing<br />

seems only just and right, but that the righteous should have to<br />

pass through the furnace sometimes heated seven times is a great<br />

stumbling block to many people. That is because we only see half the<br />

circle <strong>of</strong> life. One thing we are sure <strong>of</strong>, and that is that the Divine<br />

Potter makes no mistakes as He molds the clay left unresisting in His<br />

hands. "When it had come forth from his hand, he had fashioned it<br />

indeed, a goodly vessel prepared and fit for the Master's use." Miss<br />

Flint's beautiful poem on the Potter would make a fitting conclusion to<br />

this life, the second verse <strong>of</strong> which reads :<br />

"<strong>The</strong> Potter fashioned the Cup<br />

With whirling wheel and hand;<br />

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Hour by hour He built it up<br />

To the form that His thought had planned. ·<br />

'Twas broken, and broken again, ·<br />

Marred by a flaw, a crack, a stain,<br />

Marred, so he made it again, and again;<br />

Shaped it from laughter and labor and pain,<br />

From hopes that withered and hopes fulfilled,<br />

From dreams forgotten and longings stilled;<br />

From rose and thorn and the gold <strong>of</strong> morn,<br />

From dark and bright and the stars <strong>of</strong> night,<br />

From joy and beauty and all delight;<br />

From flower and weed, from root and seed,<br />

From bird and river and tossing tree;<br />

From wind and fire and heart's desire,<br />

<strong>The</strong> pearl and the shell and the foam o' the sea;<br />

From the years that were and the years to be;<br />

And the Cup that He fashioned He gave to me.”<br />

and then she gives the purpose <strong>of</strong> the fashioning <strong>of</strong> the Cup. No one can<br />

read it without thinking <strong>of</strong> this life and its accomplishments. Surely the<br />

vessel was what God intended it to be. That vessel was to hold and to<br />

pour out the rivers <strong>of</strong> living water and truly Annie Johnson Flint has<br />

done this. And the closing stanza continues :<br />

"And the clay is Thine-O Potter-Thine;<br />

But the cup <strong>of</strong> life Thou hast made is mine<br />

To save or lose, to waste or use,<br />

For a poison drink or a draught divine;<br />

To hold it lightly and fling it away,<br />

Or give it for service every day;<br />

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To leave it an empty and useless thing<br />

Or fill with the glory <strong>of</strong> ministering;<br />

<strong>The</strong> word <strong>of</strong> cheer and the kindly deed<br />

For passing pilgrim or childish need,<br />

Thy tender thought by suffering taught,<br />

With comfort and healing and power fraught,<br />

To lift and strengthen and help and bless<br />

<strong>The</strong> souls in sorrow and loneliness;<br />

<strong>The</strong> loving touch that means so much,<br />

<strong>The</strong> smile and the look <strong>of</strong> sympathy.-<br />

With these shall I fill this gift to me,<br />

Fill to the brim and running o'er,<br />

And into the world its treasure pour,<br />

Yet, giving ever, shall have the more,<br />

And through the nights and through the days<br />

I drink to His praise-to the Potter's praise<br />

Who gave the cup to me."<br />

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Poems by Annie Johnson Flint<br />


(Isaiah 43:1-2)<br />

“When Thou passest through the waters,”<br />

Deep the waves may be & cold,<br />

But JEHOVAH is our Refuge<br />

And His promise is our hold;<br />

For the LORD Himself hath said it,<br />

He the faithful God & true;<br />

“When thou comest to the waters,<br />

Thou shalt not go down, but through.<br />

Seas <strong>of</strong> sorrow, seas <strong>of</strong> trial,<br />

Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,<br />

Rolling surges <strong>of</strong> temptation,<br />

Sweeping over heart & brain,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y shall never overflow us,<br />

For we know His word is true;<br />

All His waves & all His billows<br />

He will lead us safely through.<br />

Threatening breakers <strong>of</strong> destruction,<br />

Doubt’s insidious undertow,<br />

Shall not sink us, shall not drag us<br />

Out to ocean depths <strong>of</strong> woe;<br />

For His promise shall sustain us,<br />

Praise the LORD, Whose word is true!<br />

We shall not go down or under,<br />

He hath said, “Thou passest through.”<br />

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His grace is great enough to meet the great things,<br />

<strong>The</strong> crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,<br />

<strong>The</strong> roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,<br />

<strong>The</strong> sudden storms beyond our life's control.<br />

His grace is great enough to meet the small things,<br />

<strong>The</strong> little pin-prick troubles that annoy,<br />

<strong>The</strong> insect worries, buzzing and persistent,<br />

<strong>The</strong> squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.<br />

New Every Morning<br />

Yea, "new every morning," though we may awake,<br />

Our hearts with old sorrow beginning to ache;<br />

With old work unfinished when night stayed our hand,<br />

With new duties waiting, unknown and unplanned;<br />

With old care still pressing, to fret and to vex,<br />

With new problems rising, our minds to perplex;<br />

In ways long familiar, in paths yet untrod,<br />

Oh, new every morning the mercies <strong>of</strong> God!<br />

His faithfulness fails not; it meets each new day<br />

With guidance for every new step <strong>of</strong> the way;<br />

New grace for new trials, new trust for old fears,<br />

New patience for hearing the wrongs <strong>of</strong> the years,<br />

New strength for new burdens, new courage for old,<br />

New faith for whatever the day may unfold;<br />

As fresh for each need as the dew on the sod;<br />

Oh, new every morning are the mercies <strong>of</strong> God!<br />

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Better Than My Best<br />

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile<br />

All sense <strong>of</strong> nearness, human and divine;<br />

<strong>The</strong> love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart,<br />

<strong>The</strong> hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;<br />

But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone,<br />

<strong>The</strong> everlasting arms upheld my own.<br />

I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,<br />

<strong>The</strong> moon was darkened by a misty doubt,<br />

<strong>The</strong> stars <strong>of</strong> heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,<br />

And all my little candle flames burned out;<br />

But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,<br />

<strong>The</strong> face <strong>of</strong> Christ made all the darkness bright.<br />

I prayed for peace, and dreamed <strong>of</strong> restful ease,<br />

A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose;<br />

Above my head the skies were black with storm,<br />

And fiercer grew the onslaught <strong>of</strong> my foes;<br />

But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,<br />

I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.<br />

I thank <strong>The</strong>e, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed<br />

My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,<br />

Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed<br />

Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;<br />

Giver <strong>of</strong> good, so answer each request<br />

With Thine own giving, better than my best.<br />

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Martha and Mary<br />

Martha was busy and hurried,<br />

Serving the Friend divine,<br />

Cleansing the cups and the platters,<br />

Bringing the bread and the wine;<br />

But Martha was careful and anxious<br />

Fretted in thought and in word,<br />

She had no time to be learning<br />

While she was serving the Lord,<br />

For Martha was "cumbered" with serving,<br />

Martha was "troubled" with "things" -<br />

Those that would pass with the using -<br />

She was forgetting her wings.<br />

But Mary was quiet and peaceful,<br />

Learning to love and to live.<br />

Mary was hearing His precepts,<br />

Mary was letting Him give -<br />

Give <strong>of</strong> the riches eternal,<br />

Treasures <strong>of</strong> mind and <strong>of</strong> heart;<br />

Learning the mind <strong>of</strong> the Master,<br />

Choosing the better part.<br />

Do we ever labor at serving<br />

Till voices grow fretful and shrill,<br />

Forgetting how to be loving,<br />

Forgetting how to be still?<br />

Do we strive for "things" in possession,<br />

And toil for the perishing meat,<br />

Neglecting the one thing needful -<br />

Sitting at Jesus' feet?<br />

Service is good when He asks it,<br />

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Labor is right in its place,<br />

But there is one thing better -<br />

Looking up into His face;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is so much He would tell us,<br />

Truths that are precious and deep;<br />

This is the place where He wants us,<br />

<strong>The</strong>se are the things we can keep.<br />

According to the Power<br />

If our scanty measure were used,<br />

How poor were the gifts <strong>of</strong> the Lord;<br />

If our cups <strong>of</strong> thought and our pitchers <strong>of</strong> prayer<br />

Were all that His love could afford.<br />

But - above all our stammering tongues<br />

Can voice <strong>of</strong> our deepest desire,<br />

Abundant above all the pitiful good<br />

To which our small minds can aspire;<br />

Exceeding abundant above<br />

<strong>The</strong> reach <strong>of</strong> our groveling thought;<br />

So great is the fulness <strong>of</strong> knowledge and grace<br />

His power to usward hath wrought.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Star Of Bethlehem<br />

Not to the king the Star,<br />

Flaming in light afar;<br />

Not to the king on his throne apart,<br />

With fear and hate in his evil heart,<br />

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Speaking smoothly with lying ruse<br />

To find the new-born King <strong>of</strong> the Jews;<br />

Not to the king the flame,<br />

<strong>The</strong> light and the glory came.<br />

Not to the seers the Star,<br />

Shedding its beams afar;<br />

Not to the seers with their downbent looks,<br />

Poring over their ancient books,<br />

Searching where and pondering when,<br />

He should be born who is Saviour <strong>of</strong> men;<br />

Not to the seers the flame,<br />

<strong>The</strong> light and the glory came.<br />

Not to the sword the Star,<br />

Glowing and bright afar;<br />

Not to the sword that sought where He lay,<br />

Callous and cruel and eager to slay;<br />

Never were bearers <strong>of</strong> sword so led<br />

Where helpless and innocent blood was shed;<br />

Not to the sword the flame,<br />

<strong>The</strong> light and the glory came.<br />

But to the wise the Star,<br />

Lighting their path afar;<br />

Unto the wise who truly sought,<br />

With reverent worship and loving thought,<br />

<strong>The</strong>se to the Child the Star could bring,<br />

To lay their gifts at the feet <strong>of</strong> the King;<br />

Unto the wise the flame,<br />

<strong>The</strong> light and the glory came.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Pruned Branch<br />

It is the branch that bears the fruit,<br />

That feels the knife;<br />

To prune it for a larger growth,<br />

A fuller life,<br />

Though every budding twig be lopped,<br />

And every grace<br />

Of swaying tendril, springing leaf<br />

Be lost a space.<br />

O thou, whose life <strong>of</strong> joy seems reft,<br />

Of beauty shorn,<br />

Whose aspirations lie in dust,<br />

All bruised and torn,<br />

Rejoice, though each desire, each dream,<br />

Each hope <strong>of</strong> thine,<br />

Shall fall and fade; it is the hand<br />

Of love divine<br />

That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks<br />

With tenderest touch,<br />

That thou, whose life has borne some fruit<br />

May now bear much.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Wall and the Hedge<br />

<strong>The</strong> devil may wall you round<br />

But he cannot ro<strong>of</strong> you in;<br />

He may fetter your feet and tie your hands<br />

And strive to hamper your soul with bands<br />

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As his way has always been;<br />

But he cannot hide the face <strong>of</strong> God,<br />

And the Lord shall be your Light,<br />

And your eyes and your thoughts can rise to the sky,<br />

Where His clouds and His winds and His birds go by,<br />

And His stars shine out at night.<br />

<strong>The</strong> devil may wall you round;<br />

He may rob you <strong>of</strong> all things dear,<br />

He may bring his hardest and roughest stone<br />

And think to cage you and keep you alone,<br />

But he may not press too near;<br />

For the Lord has planted a hedge inside,<br />

And has made it strong and tall,<br />

A hedge <strong>of</strong> living and growing green;<br />

And ever it mounts and keeps between<br />

<strong>The</strong> trusting soul and the devil's wall.<br />

<strong>The</strong> devil may wall you round,<br />

But the Lord's hand covers you --<br />

And His hedge is a thick and thorny hedge,<br />

And the devil can find no entering wedge<br />

Nor get his fingers through;<br />

He may circle about you all day long,<br />

But he cannot work as he would,<br />

For the will <strong>of</strong> the Lord restrains his hand,<br />

And he cannot pass the Lord's command<br />

And his evil turns to good.<br />

<strong>The</strong> devil may wall you round<br />

With his gray stones, row on row;<br />

But the green <strong>of</strong> the hedge is fresh and fair,<br />

And within its circle is space to spare,<br />

And room for your soul to grow;<br />

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<strong>The</strong> wall that shuts you in<br />

May be hard and high and stout,<br />

But the Lord is sun and the Lord is dew,<br />

And His hedge is coolness and shade for you,<br />

And no wall can shut Him out.<br />

But God<br />

I know not, but God knows;<br />

Oh, blessed rest from fear!<br />

All my unfolding days<br />

To Him are plain and clear.<br />

Each anxious, puzzled "Why?"<br />

From doubt or dread that grows,<br />

Finds answer in this thought;<br />

I know not, but He knows.<br />

I cannot, but God can;<br />

Oh, balm for all my care!<br />

<strong>The</strong> burden that I drop<br />

His hand will lift and bear,<br />

Though eagle pinions tire --<br />

I walk where once I ran --<br />

This is my strength, to know<br />

I cannot, but God can.<br />

I see not, but God sees;<br />

Oh, all-sufficient light!<br />

My dark and hidden way<br />

To Him is always bright.<br />

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My strained and peering eyes<br />

May close in restful ease,<br />

And I in peace may sleep;<br />

I see not, but He sees.<br />

It Is Jesus<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a Voice through Earth's wild clamor calling,<br />

To all the heavy laden and oppressed,<br />

Sweet as the cooling dew at even falling;<br />

"Come unto Me and rest."<br />

<br />

It is the voice <strong>of</strong> Jesus still entreating,<br />

To all the comfortless and all the sad;<br />

Day after day His tender call repeating,<br />

"Come unto Me and I will make you glad<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a Hand outstretched in tenderest pity,<br />

Where all the weary and the wandering roam,<br />

Waiting to lead them to the heavenly city,<br />

To bring the homeless Home.<br />

<br />

It is the hand <strong>of</strong> Jesus, still upholding,<br />

Strong to deliver, mighty still to keep;<br />

And none shall pluck from out that safe enfolding,<br />

<strong>The</strong> weakest one <strong>of</strong> all His blood-bought sheep.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a Form that walks life's stormy ocean,<br />

Bidding the noise <strong>of</strong> wind and tempest cease;<br />

Crying along through all the wild commotion,<br />

"In Me ye shall have peace."<br />

<br />

Oh, it is Jesus coming o'er the waters,<br />

As once He walked the waves <strong>of</strong> Galilee,<br />

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Speaking to all earth's shipwrecked sons and daughters,<br />

"Be not afraid; have faith, have faith in Me."<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a Love that longs with deep affection<br />

To gather all the sin-sick sons <strong>of</strong> men,<br />

Beneath its wings <strong>of</strong> shelter and protection,<br />

And give them health again.<br />

<br />

It is the love <strong>of</strong> Jesus, sweet with longing,<br />

His full salvation to the world to give;<br />

Crying to all the dead, earth's highways thronging,<br />

"Come unto Me, come unto Me and live.”<br />


Are you passing through a testing.<br />

Is your pillow wet with tears?<br />

Do you wonder what the reason,<br />

Why it seems God never hears?<br />

Why it is you have no answer<br />

To your <strong>of</strong>t, repeated plea,<br />

Why the heaven still is leaden<br />

As you wait on bended knee?<br />

Do you wonder as you suffer,<br />

Whether God does understand,<br />

And if so, why He ignores you,<br />

Fails to hold you in His Hand?<br />

Do black doubts creep in, assail you,<br />

Fears without--and fears within,<br />

Till your brave heart almost falters<br />

And gives way to deadly sin?<br />

All God's testings have a purpose,<br />

Someday you will see the light.<br />

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All He asks is that you trust Him,<br />

Walk by faith and not by sight.<br />

Do not fear when doubts beset you,<br />

Just remember - He is near;<br />

He will never, never leave you,<br />

He will always, always hear.<br />

Faithful is He who has promised,<br />

He will never let you fall,<br />

Daily will the strength be given<br />

Strength for each and strength for all.<br />

He will gladly share pain with you,<br />

He will gladly give you peace.<br />

Till your tired and weary body<br />

Finds its blessed, glad release.<br />

When the darkened veil is lifted,<br />

<strong>The</strong>n, dear heart, you'll understand<br />

Why it is you had to suffer,<br />

Why you could not feel His hand<br />

Giving strength when it was needed,<br />

Giving power and peace within<br />

Giving joy thru tears and trial,<br />

Giving victory over sin.<br />

So till then just keep on trusting,<br />

Thru the sunshine and the rain.<br />

For What We Are Watching<br />

It is not for a sign we are watching…<br />

For wonders above and below<br />

<strong>The</strong> pouring out <strong>of</strong> vials <strong>of</strong> judgment,<br />

<strong>The</strong> sounding <strong>of</strong> trumpets <strong>of</strong> woe;<br />

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It is not for a day we are looking<br />

Nor even the time yet to be<br />

When the earth shall be filled with God's glory<br />

As the waters cover the sea;<br />

It is not for a king we are longing<br />

To make the world-kingdoms His own;<br />

It is not for a judge who shall summon<br />

<strong>The</strong> nations <strong>of</strong> earth to his throne.<br />

Not for these, though we know they are coming;<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are but adjuncts <strong>of</strong> Him,<br />

Before whom all glory is clouded,<br />

Besides whom all splendor grows dim.<br />

We wait for the Lord, our beloved,<br />

Our Comforter, Master and Friend,<br />

<strong>The</strong> substance <strong>of</strong> all that we hope for,<br />

Beginning <strong>of</strong> faith and its end;<br />

We watch for our Savior and Bridegroom,<br />

Who loved us and made us his own;<br />

For Him we are looking and longing;<br />

For Jesus and Jesus alone.<br />

God's Thoughts and Mine<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hammer thoughts<br />

That pound and shatter peace;<br />

<strong>The</strong> Rodent thoughts<br />

That gnaw and will not cease;<br />

<strong>The</strong> Brier thoughts<br />

That pull and prick and scratch;<br />

<strong>The</strong> Rover thoughts<br />

That I can never catch;<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Serpent thoughts<br />

That leave their lairs at night;<br />

<strong>The</strong> Shadow thoughts<br />

That dim the new day's light;<br />

<strong>The</strong>se are my thoughts;<br />

Oh, take them, Lord, I pray,<br />

Out <strong>of</strong> my heart,<br />

And cast them far away;<br />

And in their stead<br />

Give me those thoughts <strong>of</strong> Thine,<br />

So crystal-clear,<br />

So holy, high and fine,<br />

That I shall grow<br />

By their pure grace enticed,<br />

Worthy to think<br />

<strong>The</strong> lovely thoughts <strong>of</strong> Christ.<br />

God's Orchestra<br />

<strong>The</strong> great Composer writes the theme<br />

And gives us each a part to play;<br />

To some a sweet and flowing air,<br />

Smooth and unbroken all the way;<br />

<strong>The</strong>y pour their full heart's gladness out<br />

In notes <strong>of</strong> joy and service blent;<br />

But some He gives long bars <strong>of</strong> "rests,"<br />

With idle voice and instrument.<br />

He who directs the singing spheres,<br />

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<strong>The</strong> music <strong>of</strong> the morning stars,<br />

Needs, for His full creation's hymn,<br />

<strong>The</strong> quiet <strong>of</strong> the soundless bars.<br />

Be silent unto God, my soul,<br />

If this the score He writes for thee,<br />

And "hold the rest," play no false note<br />

To mar His perfect harmony.<br />

Yet be thou watchful for thy turn,<br />

Strike on the instant, true and clear,<br />

Lest from the grand, melodious whole<br />

Thy note be missing to His ear.<br />

Better Than My Best<br />

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile<br />

All sense <strong>of</strong> nearness, human and divine;<br />

<strong>The</strong> love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart,<br />

<strong>The</strong> hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;<br />

But while I swayed, weak trembling, and alone,<br />

<strong>The</strong> everlasting arms upheld my own.<br />

I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,<br />

<strong>The</strong> moon was darkened by a misty doubt,<br />

<strong>The</strong> stars <strong>of</strong> heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,<br />

And all my little candle flames burned out;<br />

But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,<br />

<strong>The</strong> face <strong>of</strong> Christ made all the darkness bright.<br />

I prayed for peace, and dreamed <strong>of</strong> restful ease,<br />

A slumber free from pain, a hushed repose;<br />

Above my head the skies were black with storm,<br />

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And fiercer grew the onslaught <strong>of</strong> my foes;<br />

But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,<br />

I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.<br />

I thank you, Lord, You were too wise to heed<br />

My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,<br />

Since these rich gifts Your bounty has bestowed<br />

Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;<br />

Giver <strong>of</strong> good, so answer each request<br />

With your own giving, better than my best.<br />

He's Helping Me Now<br />

He's helping me now--this moment,<br />

Though I may not see it or hear,<br />

Perhaps by a friend far distant,<br />

Perhaps by a stranger near,<br />

Perhaps by a spoken message<br />

Perhaps by the printed word;<br />

In ways that I know and know not<br />

I have the help <strong>of</strong> the Lord.<br />

He's keeping me now--this moment,<br />

However I need it most,<br />

Perhaps by a single angel,<br />

Perhaps by a mighty host,<br />

Perhaps by the chain that frets me,<br />

Or the walls that shut me in;<br />

In ways that I know or know not<br />

He keeps me from harm and sin.<br />

He's guiding me now--this moment,<br />

In pathways easy or hard,<br />

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Perhaps by a door wide open,<br />

Perhaps by a door fast barred,<br />

Perhaps by a joy withholden<br />

Perhaps by a gladness given;<br />

In ways that I know and know not,<br />

He's leading me up to heaven.<br />

He's using me now--this moment,<br />

And whether I go or stand,<br />

Perhaps by a plan accomplished<br />

Perhaps when he stays my hand,<br />

Perhaps by a word in season<br />

Perhaps by a silent prayer;<br />

In ways that I know and know not,<br />

His labor <strong>of</strong> love I share.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Prisoner <strong>of</strong> the Lord<br />

<strong>The</strong> great Apostle called himself<br />

"<strong>The</strong> prisoner <strong>of</strong> the Lord;"<br />

He was not held by Roman chains<br />

Nor kept in Caesar's ward;<br />

Constrained by love alone,<br />

By cords <strong>of</strong> kindness bound,<br />

<strong>The</strong> bondslave <strong>of</strong> the living Christ,<br />

True liberty he found.<br />

Oh, happy those who see<br />

In poverty and pain,<br />

In weakness and in toil,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir Father's golden chain;<br />

Who feel no prison walls<br />

Though shut in narrow ways,<br />

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And though in darkness fettered fast<br />

Can still rejoice and praise;<br />

From sin's dread bondage bought,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y own their Master's ward,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y bear the brand <strong>of</strong> Christ,<br />

Blest prisoners <strong>of</strong> the Lord!<br />

His Billows<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are God's billows, whether they go over us<br />

Hiding His face in smothering spray and foam,<br />

Or, smooth and sparkling, spread a path before us,<br />

And to our haven bear us safely home.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are God's billows, whether, for our succour,<br />

He walks across them, stilling all our fear,<br />

Or to our cry there comes nor aid nor answer,<br />

And in the lonely silence none is near.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are God's billows, whether we are toiling<br />

Through tempest-driven waves that never cease,<br />

While deep to deep with clamor loud is calling,<br />

Or at His word they hush themselves in peace.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are God's billows, whether He divides them,<br />

<strong>Making</strong> us walk dry shod where seas had flowed,<br />

Or lets tumultuous breakers surge about us<br />

Rushing unchecked across our only road.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are God's billows, and He brings us through them;<br />

So has He promised, so His love will do;<br />

Keeping and leading, guiding and upholding,<br />

To His sure harbor, He will bring us through.<br />

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One Day at a Time<br />

One day at a time, with its failures and fears,<br />

With its hurts and mistakes, with its weakness and tears,<br />

With its portion <strong>of</strong> pain and its burden <strong>of</strong> care;<br />

One day at a time we must meet and must bear.<br />

One day at a time to be patient and strong,<br />

To be calm under trial and sweet under wrong;<br />

<strong>The</strong>n its toiling shall pass and its sorrow shall cease;<br />

It shall darken and die, and the night shall bring peace.<br />

One day at a time - but the day is so long,<br />

And the heart is not brave, and the soul is not strong,<br />

O Thou pitiful Christ, be Thou near all the way;<br />

Give courage and patience and strength for the day.<br />

Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet;<br />

"Yea, I will be with thee, thy troubles to meet;<br />

I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve;<br />

I will not forsake thee; I never will leave."<br />

Not yesterday's load we are called on to bear,<br />

Nor the morrow's uncertain and shadowy care;<br />

Why should we look forward or back with dismay?<br />

Our needs, as our mercies, are but for the day.<br />

One day at a time, and the day is His day;<br />

He hath numbered its hours, though they haste or delay.<br />

His grace is sufficient; we walk not alone;<br />

As the day, so the strength that He giveth His own.<br />

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Show Us Thy Grace<br />

Show us our need, O Lord; how lost, how hopeless,<br />

How poor, how sunk in sin our carnal hearts;<br />

Show us how vain to change our sad condition,<br />

Our best endeavor and our utmost arts;<br />

Show us how weak we are, and how dependent,<br />

How multiplied defeats our pride abase;<br />

And then -- O Lord, lest we despair too wholly —<br />

Show us Thy grace!<br />

Show us Thy grace, the great, the all-sufficient,<br />

Infinite riches for our poverty,<br />

Mercy <strong>of</strong> God for uttermost salvation,<br />

Weapon that turns defeat to victory;<br />

Gladness unspeakable and full <strong>of</strong> glory,<br />

Beyond our needs, a vast unmeasured space.<br />

Lord, as we never yet have seen or known it,<br />

Show us Thy grace!<br />

Shut In<br />

Shut in - shut in from the ceaseless din<br />

Of the restless world, and its' wants and sin;<br />

Shut in from its' turmoil, care and strife<br />

And all the wearisome round <strong>of</strong> life.<br />

Shut in, with tears that are spent in vain,<br />

With the dull companionship <strong>of</strong> pain;<br />

Shut in with the changeless days and hours,<br />

And the bitter knowledge <strong>of</strong> failing powers.<br />

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Shut in with a trio <strong>of</strong> virtues sweet --<br />

Patience and Grace all pain to meet,<br />

With Faith that can suffer and stand and wait,<br />

And lean on the promises strong and great!<br />

Shut in with Christ! Oh, wonderful thought!<br />

Shut in with the peace His sufferings brought;<br />

Shut in with the love that wields the rod --<br />

Oh, company blest! Shut in with God!<br />

Nevertheless Afterward<br />

I was so happy in my lot,<br />

I was so glad <strong>of</strong> work or play,<br />

I only asked that I might walk<br />

With others on life's common way;<br />

My Father let the sorrows come<br />

That blotted out the sunlit skies,<br />

That stopped the toil <strong>of</strong> busy hands<br />

And turned my laughter into sighs.<br />

I was so sorrowful, so spent,<br />

I only asked to dwell apart,<br />

And in the silence and the dark<br />

To nurse my bruised and broken heart;<br />

My Father came and took my hand<br />

And led me forth in paths unknown,<br />

He filled my days with crowding cares,<br />

He would not let me weep alone.<br />

But, looking backward now, I know<br />

How wise and kind He was to me,<br />

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<strong>The</strong> clouds all gone, the shadows fled,<br />

His glorious afterward I see;<br />

If He had left me to myself<br />

I know the joys I should have lost,<br />

<strong>The</strong> good that I had lacked or missed,<br />

How much I gained, how small the cost.<br />

And shall I doubt His love today<br />

Because once more the mists arise,<br />

Because His hand, though leading still,<br />

Is hidden from my blinded eyes?<br />

Nay, help me to remember, Lord,<br />

As 'neath the chastening rod I bow,<br />

Thy wondrous dealing past, and trust<br />

Thine afterward for this dark now.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bridge Of <strong>The</strong> Cross<br />

Man fain would build a bridge to God<br />

Across the fathomless abyss<br />

That lies between his earth-bound soul<br />

And heaven's perfect bliss.<br />

He takes his knowledge, small and vague,<br />

<strong>The</strong> great inventions he has wrought,<br />

His mightiest efforts, finest plans,<br />

And his pr<strong>of</strong>oundest thought:<br />

He binds them with his strands <strong>of</strong> straw,<br />

His strings <strong>of</strong> tow, his ropes <strong>of</strong> sand,<br />

With all the power and the skill<br />

Of cunning brain and hand.<br />

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Through swirling mists he strains his eye,<br />

Above the unseen torrent's roar<br />

He pushes forth the makeshift thing<br />

And hopes to touch the shore.<br />

But when he seeks to cross the chasm<br />

With eager heart and step elate,<br />

He finds his bridge too short to reach,<br />

Too frail to bear his weight.<br />

Oh, baseless dream! Oh, useless toil!<br />

Oh, utter and eternal loss!<br />

For God has laid, to span the void,<br />

His Son upon the cross.<br />

And when man's broken bridges fall,<br />

And sink into the gulf at last,<br />

Still wide and long and safe and strong,<br />

<strong>The</strong> bridge <strong>of</strong> God stands fast.<br />

In a Small Place<br />

Fret not because thy place is small,<br />

Thy service need not be,<br />

For thou canst make it all there is<br />

Of joy and ministry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dewdrop, as the boundless sea,<br />

In God's great place has part;<br />

And this is all He asks <strong>of</strong> thee;<br />

Be faithful where thou art.<br />

In thee His mighty hand can show<br />

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<strong>The</strong> wonders <strong>of</strong> His grace,<br />

And He can make the humblest room<br />

A high and holy place.<br />

Thy life can know the blessedness<br />

Of resting in His will;<br />

His fulness flows unceasingly<br />

Thy cup <strong>of</strong> need to fill.<br />

His strength upon they weakness waits,<br />

His power for thy task.<br />

What more, O child <strong>of</strong> all His care,<br />

Could any great one ask?<br />

In Jesus<br />

In the world, tribulation; but in Jesus -- peace;<br />

<strong>The</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> the whirlwind where its roarings cease,<br />

A little home waiting, still and light and warm,<br />

A safe sanctuary from the night and storm.<br />

In the world, tribulation; but in Jesus -- rest;<br />

A sure place <strong>of</strong> refuge for the sore-opprest,<br />

A guarded pavilion no device can take,<br />

A strong-walled fortress no assault can shake.<br />

In the world tribulation; but in Jesus -- joy;<br />

A full cup <strong>of</strong> gladness that can never cloy,<br />

A sweet fountain rising out <strong>of</strong> Marrah's tide,<br />

A spring <strong>of</strong> rejoicing that is never dried.<br />

In the world, tribulation; but in Jesus -- peace;<br />

A deep, quiet harbor where the high waves cease,<br />

A long-desired haven on a friendly shore,<br />

Where the wild winds <strong>of</strong> oceans sweep the soul no more.<br />

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In the world, tribulation, trials all around,<br />

For on earth no resting and no joys are found;<br />

Let us flee to Jesus where all sorrows cease;<br />

Here alone is gladness, here alone is peace.<br />

In Time <strong>of</strong> Need<br />

Not by my need alone I ask this token<br />

That Thou, O Lord, dost hear and heed my cry;<br />

But by Thy promise that cannot be broken,<br />

That all my need in Christ Thou wilt supply;<br />

Not by my love for <strong>The</strong>e, so <strong>of</strong>t disproved,<br />

Not by my gifts to <strong>The</strong>e, so poor and small,<br />

But by Thy love that gave Thy best-beloved,<br />

And with that one great Gift included all.<br />

Not by my faith I plead, for that can falter,<br />

Aye, and has faltered in the days gone by;<br />

But by Thy faithfulness that cannot alter,<br />

And by Thine ordered covenants on high,<br />

Set safe and sure above Time's brief duration,<br />

Beyond all change, eternally the same;<br />

By these I dare my fervent supplication,<br />

By Thy great mercies and Thy holy name.<br />

I Shall Dwell Forever<br />

"I shall dwell forever"; amid this world <strong>of</strong> change,<br />

Where our homesick spirits <strong>of</strong>t' feel sad and strange,<br />

Where the vacant places shall never more be filled,<br />

Where the ache <strong>of</strong> memory can never quite be stilled,<br />

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Where the silent voices echo through life's empty room,<br />

Where the brightest skies <strong>of</strong> earth must know grief's cloud <strong>of</strong> gloom;<br />

Is any promise sweeter in our Father's blessed Word?<br />

"I shall dwell forever in the house <strong>of</strong> the Lord."<br />

We shall dwell forever; we shall never more go out,<br />

Never more be weary with wandering about;<br />

Never more be seeking for a place in which to rest,<br />

Never more be dreading "the stirring <strong>of</strong> the nest."<br />

How our hearts are turning, turning ever as we roam<br />

Toward the shining portals <strong>of</strong> our everlasting home!<br />

Is any promise sweeter in our Father's steadfast word?<br />

"I shall dwell forever in the house <strong>of</strong> the Lord."<br />

We shall dwell forever where warfare never comes,<br />

Shrilling <strong>of</strong> the trumpets or boding roll <strong>of</strong> drums;<br />

In a quiet resting place and in a land <strong>of</strong> peace,<br />

Where all pain and sorrows forevermore shall cease,<br />

In that abiding city <strong>of</strong> the rainbow-jewelled wall,<br />

Set on sure foundations that shall never shake or fall.<br />

Oh, the joy <strong>of</strong> looking past the things that pass away<br />

To a habitation where our tired feet may stay!<br />

Is any promise sweeter in all our Father's Word?<br />

"I shall dwell forever in the house <strong>of</strong> the Lord.”<br />

I Will Not Doubt<br />

I will not doubt, tho' all my ships at sea<br />

come drifting home with broken masts and sails;<br />

I will believe the hand which never fails,<br />

from seeming evil worketh good for me.<br />

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And tho' I weep because those sails are tattered,<br />

Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered;<br />

-- I trust in <strong>The</strong>e!<br />

I will not doubt, tho' all my prayers return<br />

unanswered from the still, white realm above;<br />

I will believe it is an all-wise love<br />

which has refused the things for which I yearn;<br />

And tho' at times I cannot keep from grieving,<br />

Yet the pure ardor <strong>of</strong> my fixed believing,<br />

--undimmed shall burn.<br />

I will not doubt, tho' sorrows fall like rain,<br />

and troubles swarm like bees above a hive,<br />

I will believe the heights for which I strive<br />

are only reached by anguish and by pain;<br />

And tho' I groan and writhe beneath my crosses,<br />

I yet shall see through my severest losses,<br />

-- the greater gain.<br />

I will not doubt. Well anchored is this faith,<br />

like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;<br />

So strong its courage that it will not quail,<br />

to breast the mighty unknown sea <strong>of</strong> death.<br />

Oh, may I cry, tho' body parts with spirit,<br />

"I do not doubt," so listening worlds may hear it<br />

-- with my last breath.<br />

Much Fruit<br />

It is the branch that bears the fruit that feels the knife;<br />

To prune it for a larger growth, a fuller life.<br />

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Though every budding twig be lopped, and every grace<br />

Of swaying tendril, springing leaf, be lost a space.<br />

O thou, whose life <strong>of</strong> joy seems reft <strong>of</strong> beauty - shorn,<br />

Whose aspirations lie in dust, all bruised and torn;<br />

Rejoice! Though each desire, each dream, each hope <strong>of</strong> thine,<br />

Shall fall and fade; it is the hand <strong>of</strong> Love Divine,<br />

That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks with tenderest touch,<br />

That thou, whose life has borne some fruit may'st now bear much!<br />

Not Down, But Through<br />

"When Thou passest through the waters,"<br />

Deep the waves may be and cold,<br />

But Jehovah is our refuge,<br />

And his promise is our hold;<br />

For the Lord himself has said it,<br />

He, the faithful God and true;<br />

"When you come to the waters<br />

You will not go down, but through."<br />

Seas <strong>of</strong> sorrow, Seas <strong>of</strong> trial,<br />

Bitter anguish, fiercest pain,<br />

Rolling surges <strong>of</strong> temptation<br />

Sweeping over heart and brain…<br />

<strong>The</strong>y will never overflow us<br />

For we know His work is true;<br />

All His waves and all His billows<br />

He will lead us safely through.<br />

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Threatening breakers <strong>of</strong> destruction,<br />

Doubt's insidious undertow,<br />

Will not sink us, will not drag us<br />

Out to ocean depths <strong>of</strong> woe;<br />

For His promise will sustain us,<br />

Praise the Lord, whose word is true!<br />

We will not go down, or under,<br />

For He says, "You will pass through.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Way <strong>of</strong> the Cross<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> us stay at the Cross,<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> us wait at the tomb,<br />

Quickened and raised with Christ<br />

Yet lingering still in the gloom.<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> us bide at the Passover Feast<br />

With Pentecost all unknown:<br />

<strong>The</strong> triumphs <strong>of</strong> grace in the heavenly place<br />

That our Lord has made our own.<br />

If Christ who had died had stopped at the Cross,<br />

His work had been incomplete.<br />

If Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb,<br />

He had only known defeat.<br />

But the Way <strong>of</strong> the Cross never stops at the Cross,<br />

And the way <strong>of</strong> the tomb leads on<br />

To victorious Grace in the heavenly place,<br />

Where the Risen Lord has gone.<br />

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When I Think <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong>e<br />

When I think <strong>of</strong> just myself and my little cares,<br />

Looming large and crowding close, hindering my prayers,<br />

Of my weakness and my sins, I am sore depressed;<br />

Weary, weary grows my thought; I can find no rest.<br />

When I think upon the world and its many woes -<br />

Hunger, misery and crime - how the long list grows!<br />

Greed and hatred and unrest, strifes that never cease,<br />

Weary, weary grows my thought; I can find no peace.<br />

When I meditate on <strong>The</strong>e and Thy works, O Lord,<br />

On Thy strength and majesty, on Thy changeless word;<br />

On Thy Steadfast faithfulness, reaching to the sky;<br />

On Thy patient, watchful care over such as I;<br />

On Thine everlasting love, high and strong and deep;<br />

On Thy wisdom and Thy truth and Thy power to keep;<br />

When I think <strong>of</strong> what Thou art and what Thy power has done;<br />

When I number all the gifts given in Thy Son --<br />

I forget the things that pass in the things that bide,<br />

And my soul can rest in peace, fed and satisfied.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Double Clasp<br />

<strong>The</strong> Saviour's hand - how close its hold,<br />

That none can loosen, none can break.<br />

No powers <strong>of</strong> heaven or earth or hell<br />

That loving clasp can ever shake.<br />

And over Jesus' wounded hand<br />

<strong>The</strong> Father's hand <strong>of</strong> strength is laid,<br />

Omnipotent to save and keep;<br />

Thus is our surety surer made.<br />

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So, one beneath and one above,<br />

Father and Son their hands unite.<br />

How safe, how safe the ransomed are<br />

Within that clasp <strong>of</strong> tender might!<br />

<strong>The</strong> Way to God<br />

No tower man can build him will ever rise to God,<br />

For his foundations crumble ere half the stairs are trod;<br />

No wireless spark, far-flashing its message through the air,<br />

Can bring the seeking sinner an answer to his prayer;<br />

No bridge <strong>of</strong> his contriving can cross the awful space<br />

Between the guilty spirit and God's forgiving grace;<br />

No airship <strong>of</strong> his making can be so swiftly driven,<br />

Or plume so bold a pinion as once to soar to heaven;<br />

No lamp <strong>of</strong> his devising can send one cheering ray<br />

Along death's gloomy vista or through the grave's dark way;<br />

No road <strong>of</strong> his constructing can ever stretch so far<br />

That he can travel on it to reach the nearest star;<br />

Too weak are man's inventions, too short to reach the goal,<br />

All vain for his salvation and useless to his soul.<br />

Oh, changeless name <strong>of</strong> Jesus! This is the tower that stands,<br />

Its firm foundation resting below Time's shifting sands;<br />

Oh, precious blood <strong>of</strong> Jesus! This is the voice that speaks<br />

God's word <strong>of</strong> love and pardon to ever heart that seeks;<br />

Oh, blessed cross <strong>of</strong> Jesus! This is the bridge that's given<br />

To span the dreadful chasm between man's soul and heaven;<br />

Oh, wondrous wounds <strong>of</strong> Jesus! His nail-pierced hands alone<br />

Can bear the sinner's ransom up to His Father's throne;<br />

Oh, empty tomb <strong>of</strong> Jesus! This holds a glory bright<br />

That fills death's shadowed valley with resurrection light;<br />

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Oh, mighty love <strong>of</strong> Jesus! His feet alone have trod<br />

Earth's heights and depths <strong>of</strong> sorrow and made a way to God.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Things <strong>of</strong> God<br />

Oh, wonderful love that takes me,<br />

Though wretched and stained with sin!<br />

Oh, marvellous grace that makes me<br />

All holy and pure within!<br />

Oh, mighty power that holds me,<br />

A helper forever near!<br />

Oh, perfect peace that folds me<br />

In danger and storm and fear!<br />

Oh, jubilant joy sustaining<br />

My faltering steps to the last!<br />

Oh, rapturous rest remaining<br />

When toiling and tears are past!<br />

Oh, matchless mercy that rates me<br />

Joint-heirs with the sinless Son!<br />

Oh, golden glory that waits me<br />

When tempests and clouds are done!<br />

All things are mine, for I am His;<br />

Oh, infinite gifts divine!<br />

God gave His Son, His only one;<br />

And all that He has is mine.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Threefold Promise<br />

Oh, wonderful promises given<br />

To those who wait on the Lord;<br />

Strength for the faint who have fallen,<br />

Power for weakness outpoured.<br />

Blessed the threefold assurance<br />

Thrilling the soul like a song:<br />

<strong>The</strong>y shall mount up as the eagles<br />

On wide wings and swift wings and strong;<br />

Run with the stride <strong>of</strong> the racer,<br />

Leaping unwearied and free,<br />

Till he comes to the end <strong>of</strong> his journey<br />

And the crown <strong>of</strong> his effort shall see.<br />

But the word for the worn and the weary,<br />

Who know not the rapture <strong>of</strong> wings,<br />

Who know not the joy <strong>of</strong> the runner,<br />

What infinite comfort it brings!<br />

Walk and not faint; the slow steppings,<br />

<strong>The</strong> plodding dull round <strong>of</strong> the days,<br />

<strong>The</strong> toil and the heat and the burdens,<br />

<strong>The</strong> wearying halts and delays.<br />

Oh, promise for those who are walking,<br />

Who falter and stumble and fall,<br />

<strong>The</strong> courage, the strength and the patience,<br />

This is the sweetest <strong>of</strong> all.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Threefold Work<br />

Three things the Master hath to do,<br />

And we who serve Him here below<br />

And long to see His kingdom come,<br />

May pray or give or go.<br />

He needs them all - the open hand,<br />

<strong>The</strong> willing feet, the asking heart -<br />

To work together and to weave<br />

<strong>The</strong> threefold cord that shall not part.<br />

Nor shall the giver count his gift<br />

As greater than the worker’s need,<br />

Nor he in turn his service boast<br />

Above the prayers that voice his need.<br />

Not all can go, nor all can give<br />

To arm the other for the fray;<br />

But young or old or rich or poor,<br />

Or strong or weak - we all can pray.<br />

Pray that the full hands open wide<br />

To speed the message on its way,<br />

That those who hear the call may go<br />

And pray - that other hearts may pray<br />

<strong>The</strong>se Shall Find<br />

<strong>The</strong> steady hand can never find the deep things <strong>of</strong> the Lord;<br />

<strong>The</strong> undimmed eyes can never see the comfort in His Word;<br />

<strong>The</strong> joyous heart can never know the healing <strong>of</strong> His love;<br />

<strong>The</strong> learned mind can never grasp the wisdom from above.<br />

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But, oh, the trembling hand clasps His and loses all its fear;<br />

<strong>The</strong> weeping eyes can search His Word and read His promise clear;<br />

<strong>The</strong> broken heart rests in His love until its faith prevails;<br />

<strong>The</strong> childlike mind can reach the source where wisdom never fails.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Measures <strong>of</strong> God<br />

His wrath the seven vials hold,<br />

<strong>The</strong> seven trumps His judgments sound;<br />

But what can span the love <strong>of</strong> God,<br />

And what His goodness bound?<br />

<strong>The</strong> seven woes shall have an end,<br />

<strong>The</strong> seven plagues His hand shall stay:<br />

But when shall His compassions fail,<br />

His kindness pass away?<br />

<strong>The</strong> dust <strong>of</strong> earth He measures out,<br />

He numbers all the stars <strong>of</strong> space,<br />

His mighty scales the mountains weigh;<br />

But what can weigh His grace?<br />

His fingers spread the heavens forth,<br />

He cups the seas within His hand;<br />

But who His mercies can compute;<br />

Unnumbered as the sand?<br />

<strong>The</strong> wickedness <strong>of</strong> men shall pass,<br />

And death shall die, and wars shall cease;<br />

But still His covenant shall stand<br />

Of righteousness and peace.<br />

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And when men's measured thread is spun,<br />

His finished tale <strong>of</strong> days is told,<br />

When all earth's numbered years are done<br />

And Time itself grows old,<br />

<strong>The</strong>n shall God's long eternities<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir unmarked course have yet to run,<br />

And His uncounted eon-hours<br />

Be only just begun.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gardener<br />

While we are tending our earthly gardens,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gardener lends us His seeds to sow,<br />

<strong>The</strong> bulbs <strong>of</strong> His lilies, the roots <strong>of</strong> His roses,<br />

To plant and cherish and watch them grow.<br />

Sometimes He comes when the day is over<br />

And garners a sheaf <strong>of</strong> the full-grown wheat,<br />

Ripe for the harvest and waiting the sickle,<br />

Ready to fall at the Reaper's feet.<br />

And sometimes He comes in the early morning<br />

And tenderly gathers the sweetest flowers,<br />

<strong>The</strong> buds <strong>of</strong> the lily, the rose half-openend:<br />

Shall we not joy when He chooses ours?<br />

Shall we not yield God our loveliest blossoms,<br />

Glad that He finds them so fragrant and fair,<br />

Worthy transplanting to heavenly gardens,<br />

To gain new beauty beneath His care?<br />

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Never a storm shall sweep over His flowers,<br />

Nor drought shall wither, nor frost shall blight;<br />

About His feet they shall grow unfading,<br />

And bloom forever in His pure sight.<br />

<strong>The</strong> New Prayer<br />

Long have I prayed this prayer to <strong>The</strong>e -<br />

According to my need, give me<br />

A little strength from day to day,<br />

A little light along the way,<br />

A little trust when fears are nigh,<br />

A little peace when waves run high,<br />

And with Thy love and joy fill up<br />

<strong>The</strong> blessing in my little cup.<br />

So have I prayed for long, but now -<br />

According to Thy grace, give Thou!<br />

Of my small measure take no heed,<br />

Above, around my puny need<br />

Pour out the treasures <strong>of</strong> Thy good,<br />

Let Thy great goodness, like a flood,<br />

My meager life fill and o'erflow<br />

Till I unto Thy gifts shall grow,<br />

Give joy exceeding all I sought,<br />

And love beyond mine utmost thought;<br />

Thy riches for my poverty,<br />

According to Thy grace, give me.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Gray Days <strong>of</strong> November<br />

<strong>The</strong> gray days <strong>of</strong> November<br />

No plaint from me shall win;<br />

I shut the fog and mist all out,<br />

And shut the fire-shine in;<br />

I draw my chair the closer<br />

To where its warm glow cheers,<br />

And, dreaming in the firelight,<br />

Dream back across the years.<br />

No happier days, no better,<br />

My lost youth gave to me,<br />

With flowers in every meadow<br />

And songs from every tree;<br />

That was the time <strong>of</strong> growing;<br />

This is the time <strong>of</strong> rest;<br />

Bloom falls, but fruiting follows,<br />

And each in turn is best.<br />

God giveth <strong>of</strong> His glory<br />

An ever-changing view;<br />

<strong>The</strong> old things pass forever;<br />

He maketh all things new;<br />

Life knoweth here no beauty<br />

That shall not fade away;<br />

Some better things He sendeth,<br />

And these are mine today.<br />

Mine is the riper wisdom<br />

That comes with graying hair;<br />

Mine is the fuller knowledge<br />

Of God's great love and care;<br />

Mine is the clearer vision;<br />

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Mine is the wider view;<br />

And mine the hoarded memories<br />

Of friendships kind and true.<br />

Mine is the steadier patience<br />

To bear the ills <strong>of</strong> life;<br />

Mine is the sturdier courage<br />

To meet the daily strife;<br />

Mine is the faith serener<br />

Than ever youth could know<br />

To walk the way appointed<br />

Through sunshine or through snow.<br />

<strong>The</strong> gray days lead to white days<br />

Of peace and silence deep,<br />

A stiller hush <strong>of</strong> resting<br />

When Earth and I shall sleep;<br />

And then - a glorious waking<br />

When broken ties all mend.<br />

Through gray days <strong>of</strong> November<br />

I wait the long year's end<br />

<strong>The</strong> Burden <strong>of</strong> Israel<br />

Behold, thou art a burden, O house <strong>of</strong> Israel,<br />

A curse among the nations wherever thou dost dwell,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y hate thee and they fear thee as all the world can tell.<br />

Thou art a fire, O Jacob, among the forest leaves;<br />

A flame <strong>of</strong> fear devouring, a torch among the sheaves;<br />

A trouble to the countries, for which the whole earth grieves.<br />

A thorn art thou, O Judah, a terror to the lands,<br />

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Sharp stone and rock <strong>of</strong> stumbling that cuts the meddler's hands,<br />

A snare to the oppressor who binds thee with his bands.<br />

Thou art a cup <strong>of</strong> trembling, Jerusalem, today;<br />

<strong>The</strong> mighty men are gathered, the battle in array,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gentile hosts assembled, that God may have His way.<br />

A joy unto the nations, O Judah, thou shalt be,<br />

When out <strong>of</strong> all the countries the Lord hath gathered thee,<br />

And thou shalt be a blessing from sea to farthest sea.<br />

Follow Thou Me<br />

<br />

Follow not go ahead at thine own pleasure,<br />

Nor turn aside at thine own wayward will,<br />

Nor stray afar in search <strong>of</strong> other treasure,<br />

But close at hand, where I can aid thee still;<br />

Across the sea and through the desert places,<br />

Onward and upward by the one sure way,<br />

Till thou shalt sit with me in heavenly places<br />

Amid the splendors <strong>of</strong> eternal day.<br />

<br />

And follow thou; for thee my call is sounded;<br />

All that I suffered~was it not for thee?<br />

For thee my soul was bruised, my body wounded,<br />

I died, from sin and death to set thee free;<br />

No other hand could write thine own life-story,<br />

No other make thy choice <strong>of</strong> gain or loss,<br />

No other win and wear thy crown <strong>of</strong> glory,<br />

No other lift and bear thy destined cross.<br />

<br />

Follow thou me though stranger voices hail thee,<br />

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I am the way and there is none beside;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no other staff that shall not fail thee,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no other eye than mine to guide;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no other shepherd who can fold thee<br />

By such still waters, in such pastures fair;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no other arm can safely hold thee<br />

In doubt and danger, darkness and despair.<br />

<br />

Trust me to lead thee home to God and heaven;<br />

What others do or say is naught to thee;<br />

No other light, no other truth, is given;<br />

Follow follow thou follow me.<br />

Count It Done<br />

A father wrote to his son,<br />

Who was faraway from home;<br />

“I have sent you a beautiful gift,<br />

It may be delayed, but ‘twill come;<br />

It is what you have wanted most,<br />

And have asked for many days;”<br />

And before the child received the gift<br />

He voiced his thanks and praise.<br />

Our Father saith unto us:<br />

“Your need shall be supplied;<br />

Ask and receive that your joy be filled,<br />

And My joy in you abide.”<br />

Shall we wait to thank till we see<br />

<strong>The</strong> answer to every prayer?<br />

Forbear to praise till we feel<br />

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<strong>The</strong> lifted pressure <strong>of</strong> care?<br />

Nay, let us trust His word<br />

And know that the thing is done,<br />

For His promise is just as sure<br />

As a father’s to his son.<br />

Counted Worthy<br />

This weighty burden thou dost bear,<br />

This heavy cross,<br />

It is a gift the Lord bestows,<br />

And not a loss;<br />

It is a trust that He commits<br />

Unto thy care,<br />

A precious lesson He has deigned<br />

With thee to share.<br />

Rejoice that He so honors thee<br />

And so esteems<br />

Of highest worth; the crown <strong>of</strong> thorns<br />

With Him to wear,<br />

And all the suffering <strong>of</strong> that crown<br />

With Him to bear,<br />

That by and by His glory, too,<br />

With Him thou’lt share.<br />

For All the Morrows<br />

Has the year brought sadness?<br />

Joy is yet in store.<br />

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Has it given gladness?<br />

Next year giveth more.<br />

Let your Father measure<br />

All your pain and care,<br />

Let Him weigh the burden<br />

That your heart must bear,<br />

Sending light or shadow<br />

As He deemeth best,<br />

For in His sure wisdom<br />

You can safely rest.<br />

Peace for all the morrows,<br />

Strength for all the days,<br />

<strong>The</strong>se shall be your portion<br />

Through the New Year's ways<br />

God's Shut-ins<br />

Ferns are the "shut-ins" <strong>of</strong> God's flower kingdom,<br />

Hidden in the mossy dells and cool retreats;<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir lace-like fronds uncurl in fresh, green beauty<br />

Far from the busy world and dusty streets.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y bear no gorgeous flowers <strong>of</strong> gold or crimson,<br />

No dainty blooms <strong>of</strong> blue or pearly white;<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir graceful leaves exhale no strong, sweet odor,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir very seeds are hidden from our sight.<br />

And yet, sometimes, to eyes that tire <strong>of</strong> brightness,<br />

To senses sated with the rich perfume,<br />

How grateful is the cool green <strong>of</strong> the fern-leaves<br />

Set in the silence <strong>of</strong> some shaded room.<br />

Can we not learn from them some blessed lesson,<br />

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We, who, like them, are growing in the shade?<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir lovely freshness is a constant beauty,<br />

Dewy and sweet when summer blossoms fade.<br />

When others come, who, dwelling in the sunshine,<br />

Have grown a-weary <strong>of</strong> the toil and strife,<br />

Can we not share with them our calm and quiet -<br />

Show them the beauty <strong>of</strong> a hidden life?<br />

May we not give to them some tender message,<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> the garnered peace we hold in store,<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> the songs God giveth in the midnight,<br />

When sleep flies from us and the pain is sore?<br />

<strong>The</strong>y walk with hurrying steps Life's busy highway,<br />

Often the still, small voice they cannot hear;<br />

But we can listen in the restful stillness<br />

Its words <strong>of</strong> faith and hope and gladsome cheer.<br />

We dwell in safety in our Lord's green pastures,<br />

Our souls at rest the quiet waters by;<br />

Willing to be since we may not be doing,<br />

Living epistles, open to the eye.<br />

Our frail lives hidden in His strength eternal,<br />

Guarded and shielded from the tempest's shock,<br />

<strong>The</strong> wild winds pass us by - they cannot harm us<br />

Where we are sheltered by our Fortress Rock.<br />

Sometimes, perhaps, the ferns may long to blossom,<br />

Even as we to see our work's reward;<br />

Impatient <strong>of</strong> the stillness and the shadow,<br />

Envy the roses on the sunny sward.<br />

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"Foolish!" we say, "the dust and heat would kill them,<br />

That sweet, cool shadow is their very life,"<br />

Yes - and, God knows, perhaps our spirit's beauty,<br />

Might, like them, wither in the great world's strife.<br />

So He doth keep us, set apart in shadow,<br />

Far from the lovely garden's sunny sod;<br />

And why He does it we shall know hereafter,<br />

"Be still," He says, "and know that I am God!"<br />

Can we not trust our loving heavenly Father<br />

To do the very best that can be done,<br />

Though one be planted in the glowing sunlight,<br />

Set in the silence and the shadow - one?<br />

Be we content to say our word in secret,<br />

Content to wear our garb <strong>of</strong> sober green,<br />

And, while the world is praising other workers,<br />

Our tiny seeds cast out, though all unseen.<br />

We may not show our love and zeal by labor,<br />

Our hands are folded, though they tire <strong>of</strong> rest;<br />

Fettered the feet that fain would run His errands,<br />

Willing and swift. But yet, He knoweth best<br />

Just the conditions which will suit our growing,<br />

Just the environment we best may stand;<br />

For the green ferns the cool depths <strong>of</strong> the forest,<br />

And for our shade the "shadow <strong>of</strong> His hand.”<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Grace <strong>of</strong> God<br />

"My grace," 'tis the God <strong>of</strong> all grace who hath spoken,<br />

Whose word in the heavens forever is set;<br />

Whose covenant promise hath never been broken;<br />

Who never can fail or forget;<br />

Who knoweth my needs and who seeth my sorrows,<br />

However so many and great they may be;<br />

Who heareth my prayers for the days and the morrows;<br />

His grace is sufficient for me.<br />

"My grace;" all His blessings this work is unfolding,<br />

His love and His power in harmony blend;<br />

'Tis grace that hath saved me, and grace that is holding,<br />

And grace that will keep to the end;<br />

'Tis grace that hath written redemption's glad story,<br />

And grace all the song <strong>of</strong> the ransomed shall be;<br />

'Tis grace that transforms me from glory to glory;<br />

That grace is sufficient for me.<br />

"My grace is," not "was," and not "will be;" 'tis flowing<br />

Each hour and each moment my need to supply,<br />

<strong>The</strong> deeper I dip, still the deeper 'tis growing,<br />

No drought can diminish or dry;<br />

My heart from the future no trouble shall borrow;<br />

Eternal this present provision shall be,<br />

Assured for today and as sure for tomorrow,<br />

Such grace is sufficient for me.<br />

"My grace is sufficient." Oh, help without measure!<br />

An ocean <strong>of</strong> riches no plummet can sound,<br />

A storehouse unfailing <strong>of</strong> infinite treasure,<br />

A gift without limit or bound;<br />

Exceeding abundant for all His creation,<br />

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Enough for the thorn that is buffeting me,<br />

<strong>The</strong> fulness <strong>of</strong> God for earth's brief tribulation -<br />

"My grace is sufficient for thee."<br />

"Sufficient for thee," for my utmost salvation,<br />

As though ne'er another had owed Him a debt;<br />

For my special grief and my special temptation,<br />

My cares and my sins that beset;<br />

He giveth more grace for my humble endeavour;<br />

I am praising Him now, I shall praise Him forever;<br />

His grace is sufficient for me.<br />

God's Will Be Done<br />

"His Will Be Done,"<br />

We say with sighs and trembling,<br />

Expecting trial, bitter loss and tears.<br />

And then how doth He answer us?<br />

With blessings,<br />

And sweet rebuking <strong>of</strong> our faithless fears.<br />

God's Will is peace and plenty<br />

And the power to be,<br />

And have the best that He can give:<br />

A mind to serve Him, a heart to love,<br />

And faith to die and the strength to live.<br />

It means for us all good,<br />

All grace, all glory;<br />

His Kingdom coming and on Earth begun.<br />

Why should we fear to say,<br />

"His Will, His righteous,<br />

His tender, loving, joyous Will be done!"?<br />

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Apple Blossoms<br />

God might have clothed the apple trees<br />

In scentless brown <strong>of</strong> gray --<br />

Such frail and fleeting blossoming,<br />

So soon to pass away --<br />

Instead <strong>of</strong> this fair springtime garb<br />

Of fragrant pink and pearl,<br />

That flutters down like rosy snow<br />

On every breeze a-whirl.<br />

His goodness gives the pleasant fruit<br />

On laden boughs down-bent;<br />

His lovingkindness adds the bloom,<br />

Its beauty and its scent.<br />

He loads us with His benefits<br />

Until no want we know,<br />

And then He sends the little more<br />

That makes our cup o'erflow.<br />

He opens wide His hand <strong>of</strong> love;<br />

He gives no stingy dole;<br />

His tender mercies crown our days:<br />

O bless the Lord, my soul!<br />

He That Believeth<br />

He that believeth shall not make haste In useless hurry his strength to waste;<br />

Who walks with God can afford to wait,<br />

For he can never arrive too late.<br />

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He that believeth shall not delay; Who carries the word <strong>of</strong> the King on its'<br />

way Keeps pace with Jehovah's marching tune,<br />

And he can never come too soon.<br />

He that believeth shall walk serene, With ordered steppings and leisured<br />

mien, He dwells in the midst <strong>of</strong> eternities,<br />

And the timeless ages <strong>of</strong> God are his.<br />

His and Mine<br />

My joy, a falling star, For one brief moment bright;<br />

But God's, the changeless firmament That holds a changeless light.<br />

My love, the ebb and flow Of ocean's restless tides;<br />

But His the towering cliff above That evermore abides.<br />

My trust, the spider's web, As gossamer, as frail;<br />

His word, the everlasting hills, Whose strength can never fail.<br />

My peace, a shallow pool, Soon brimmed and sooner dried;<br />

But God's, an ever-flowing stream With waters deep and wide.<br />

O rock! O steadfast hills! Far sky, and river free!<br />

Thy strength, Thy sure serenity, Thy quietness, give me.<br />

I See Jesus<br />

I don't look back: God knows the fruitless efforts, <strong>The</strong> wasted hours the<br />

sinning, the regrets; I leave them all with Him Who blots the record,<br />

And mercifully forgives, and then forgets.<br />

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I don't look forward, God sees all the future, <strong>The</strong> road that, short or long, will<br />

lead me home, And He will face with me its every trial,<br />

And bear for me the burdens that may come.<br />

I don't look round me: then would fears assail me, So wild the tumult <strong>of</strong><br />

earth's restless seas; So dark the world, so filled with woe and evil,<br />

So vain the hope <strong>of</strong> comfort or <strong>of</strong> ease.<br />

I don't look in; for then am I most wretched; Myself has naught on which to<br />

stay my trust; Nothing I see save failures and short-comings,<br />

And weak endeavors crumbling into dust.<br />

But I look up -- into the face <strong>of</strong> Jesus, For there my heart can rest, my fears<br />

are stilled. And there is joy, and love, and light for darkness,<br />

And perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.<br />


For all Thy blessings given there are many to thank <strong>The</strong>e, Lord,<br />

But for the gifts withholden I fain would add my word.<br />

For good things I desired that barred me from the best,<br />

<strong>The</strong> peace at the price <strong>of</strong> honour, the sloth <strong>of</strong> a shameful rest;<br />

<strong>The</strong> poisonous sweets I longed for to my hungering heart denied,<br />

<strong>The</strong> staff that broke and failed me when I walked in the way <strong>of</strong> pride;<br />

<strong>The</strong> tinsel joys withheld that so content might still be mine,<br />

<strong>The</strong> help refused that might have made me loose my hand from Thine<br />

<strong>The</strong> light withdrawn that I might now see the dangers <strong>of</strong> my way;<br />

For what Thou has not given, I thank <strong>The</strong>e, Lord today.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Empty Tomb<br />

A Mohommedan once said to a missionary:<br />

"We have our Prophet's tomb to show,<br />

but you have nothing.”<br />

Earth's Meccas and the faiths <strong>of</strong> men<br />

Hold but a corpse within a tomb;<br />

Each weary pilgrim's journey ends<br />

At some sad shrine <strong>of</strong> grief and gloom.<br />

Earth's prophets rest, in silence wrapped,<br />

Dust in the dust from whence they came;<br />

By Death's chill wind their torches quenched,<br />

No more to kindle into flame.<br />

Earth's priests in solemn splendor sleep,<br />

Ashes to ashes, robed and stoled;<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir chanted prayers forever hushed,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir altar fires forever cold.<br />

Earth's kings in state and glory lie,<br />

In crypts <strong>of</strong> porphyry encased;<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir names and deeds, in marble carved,<br />

Time's blurring touch has half erased.<br />

No mausoleum built by man<br />

Entombs our Prophet, Priest and King;<br />

Our love no pilgrimage need make,<br />

No fading votive garlands bring.<br />

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No death could kill, no guard could keep,<br />

No seal could stay, no grave could hold<br />

Immortal Life in mortal clay;<br />

No darkness could the Light enfold.<br />

Our Prophet's word shall come to pass,<br />

Our Priest is interceding still;<br />

Our King shall reign forevermore,<br />

While heaven and earth shall do his will.<br />

"No grave to show"? This is the stone<br />

On which the temples <strong>of</strong> our faith<br />

Rise higher than the mosques <strong>of</strong> Ind;<br />

Our Living Lord has conquered Death!<br />

~ Annie Johnson Flint<br />

Revelation 1:18<br />

I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive<br />

for evermore, Amen; and have the keys <strong>of</strong> hell and <strong>of</strong> death.<br />

Hebrews 10:12-14<br />

But this man, after he had <strong>of</strong>fered one sacrifice for sins for ever,<br />

sat down on the right hand <strong>of</strong> God; From henceforth expecting till<br />

His enemies be made his footstool. For by one <strong>of</strong>fering He hath<br />

perfected for ever them that are sanctified.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Little Doors<br />

Oh, strait and narrow is the door,<br />

<strong>The</strong> little door <strong>of</strong> loss,<br />

By which we enter in to Christ,<br />

<strong>The</strong> low door <strong>of</strong> the Cross;<br />

But when we put away our pride,<br />

And in contrition come,<br />

We find it is the only way<br />

That leads to God and Home.<br />

Oh, strait and lowly are the doors<br />

By which Christ comes to us;<br />

We bar the entrance gates <strong>of</strong> joy,<br />

And when He finds them thus,<br />

By strange, small doors <strong>of</strong> woe and want,<br />

Of trial and <strong>of</strong> pain,<br />

He enters in to share our lives<br />

To our eternal gain.<br />

<strong>The</strong> narrow doors He brings us to,<br />

<strong>The</strong> little doors and low,<br />

What large rooms they will open on,<br />

If we will only go;<br />

<strong>The</strong> strange, small doors <strong>of</strong> work and want,<br />

Strait doors <strong>of</strong> grief and pain,<br />

What riches they will lead us too,<br />

What everlasting gain!<br />

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,<br />

which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Lonely Olive Mill<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s a peaceful vale in a sunny land<br />

Where the hills keep guard around,<br />

And the s<strong>of</strong>t breeze stirs the olive trees<br />

And the grass that clothes the ground.<br />

And in the hush and solitude<br />

Where even the birds are still,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re stands untended and alone<br />

An ancient olive mill.<br />

Through the long bright day the mill wheel turns<br />

And the fruit is crushed by the stone,<br />

And quietly drips the fragrant oil<br />

In silence and alone.<br />

But somewhere out in the circling hills,<br />

Unseen, unheard, unknown,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Master <strong>of</strong> the olive mill<br />

Is mindful <strong>of</strong> his own . . .<br />

O child <strong>of</strong> God, are you being crushed<br />

`Neath trial, pain or woe?<br />

No eye to pity, no ear to hear,<br />

No voice to whisper low?<br />

Alone in your Gethsemane,<br />

Christ watches with you there.<br />

He will not suffer one ounce <strong>of</strong> weight<br />

More than your strength can bear.<br />

He chasteneth but to purify;<br />

He crusheth but to raise;<br />

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In love he worketh his blessed will<br />

To his glory’s endless praise.<br />

In our affliction, afflicted still<br />

He leaveth us not alone;<br />

He will not forget, he will not forsake,<br />

He is mindful <strong>of</strong> his own.<br />

- Annie Johnson Flint (abridged)<br />

Rest, Tired Heart<br />

Rest, tired heart, within those arms eternal,<br />

Like cradled child upon its father's breast;<br />

Oh, lean on Him who giveth to the weary,<br />

After the day is over, blessed rest.<br />

Rest, troubled heart, oppressed by care and sorrow,<br />

Let every fear and vague foreboding cease;<br />

Oh, rest in Him who giveth to the burdened,<br />

After the day is over, blessed peace.<br />

Rest, anxious heart, take no thought for the morrow,<br />

Thou needest not wake, for God His watch doth keep:<br />

Oh, rest in Him who giveth His beloved,<br />

After the day is over, blessed sleep.<br />

- Annie Johnson Flint (abridged)<br />

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Annie Johnson Flint<br />

1866–1932<br />

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness<br />

through manifold temptations: That the trial <strong>of</strong> your faith, being much more<br />

precious than <strong>of</strong> gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found<br />

unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing <strong>of</strong> Jesus Christ: Whom having<br />

not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice<br />

with joy unspeakable and full <strong>of</strong> glory: ~1 Peter 1:6-8<br />

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